Gaps between the promise and performance of research lab design can be bridged through greater diligence and creativity during the beginning stages.
We are in a period of intense excitement about the power of design and what it can achieve. Credit Bilbao and the interest in New York City’s ground zero proposals for igniting this attention. The expectation level is particularly high within the science and technology community because of the benefits that fresh design and innovation promise to confer on the parent organizations: more collaboration; increased creativity; tighter control over the space’s environmental conditions; increased speed to market; magnets for attracting and retaining talent; and reduced operating costs.
But disappointment is often harnessed to these great goals that the designs are meant to achieve. Schedules and budgets have been known to stretch, bend, and break. The levels of quality, the close integration between disciplines, and the tightness of fit do not always emerge in the final product. The promises of transformation may not materialize as rapidly and dramatically as was anticipated. Something has been lost in the execution of the design and clients may feel a bit disappointed.
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