Univ. of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic
Visualization Laboratory allow teams of
scientists to collaborate in a new type of
work setting, where they can view and
manipulate large groupings of data and
images. As affordable variations on this
technology become available, the “media
cave” work setting will find itself in more
research lab programs.
Virtual reality has also been explored as a
means of visualizing and sharing scientific
information electronically in 3-D. A recent
study conducted by the Dept. of Chemistry
at The Imperial College of Science
Technology and Medicine in London found
virtual reality models of experiments were a
viable way of collaborating between individuals over the Internet. Where an Oculus Rift
headset might be a hindrance to teamwork,
3-D printers, 3-D scanning and coordinate
measurement systems are currently used in
the development of medical devices, prosthetics and surgical tools and procedures.
Collaboration has already been influ-
enced by technology and will continue to
be enabled by advances in communication,
visualization and information exchange. If
there’s a challenge to whether the physical
space will continue to be a relevant con-
tributor to collaboration, it’s in the form of
technology. But collaboration is a human
endeavor based on shared objectives.
While scientists are motivated building
users capable of adapting to less-than-ideal
work settings, there are studies that suggest
planning the physical environment can
have a positive influence on promoting
chance encounters and facilitating collab-
Erik Lustgarten, AIA, is director of
Gensler’s Boston office’s growing Life Sciences
practice. He has more than 15 years of experience designing labs, including the expansion
of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
in Cambridge, Mass.
According to a 2014 Gensler study on factors that will have a high-level impact on the future of real
estate, 77.8% of the CRE respondents believed changing business models would have a high-level impact.
Image: © Gensler
Jefferson Labs L-shape form creates a courtyard that is bound by the building and the wooded wetland.
Image: ©Ron Blunt
architecture really matter?
continued from page 9
By: Sara Eastman, RA, Saul Jabbawy and
Ted Newell, AIA, EwingCole
When the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s system of national abs was formed, the U.S. was
deep in the Cold War. Competition with
the Soviets permeated scientific research,
most famously in the space program and
chemical weaponry, and the country was
paralyzed with fear secrets would be leaked.
The design of the early national labs reflected this alarm: windowless workstations
along narrow halls within thick-walled
buildings protected by chain-linked barbed
wire, berms and gated turnstiles. The employee cafeteria was the primary room for
But as the Cold War thawed, the program
for the national labs evolved. Global warming wasn’t the only global issue; the national
labs nimbly refocused to be part of a worldwide collaborative that shares research on
matter and particle theory physics, physics
of the universe, energy research and climate
and environment. These labs represent diplomacy at the highest level of technology.
THE JLAB PROJECT
Among the most sought after resources
in the nation, the Thomas Jefferson Na-
tional Accelerator Facility (JLab) in New-
port News, Va., receives research proposals
worldwide from students and scientists
who need to use a particle accelerator.
JLab contains one of the world’s few
continuous electron beam accelerators, a
device that accelerates particles to nearly
the speed of light, and then splits the beam
and routes it to collide with targets and
National labs accelerate collaboration