Lab Design
Intelligent Redesign
Main image: © Getty Images
Smaller images: Justin MacNochie Photography/Smithgroup

With billions being spent on new labs and renovations, do shinier labs really make for better science?

The Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of Michigan has a football field-length corridor running through it. Coming off this thoroughfare are glossy white and maple office clusters, open lab spaces with sleek movable benches and walls of windows, bright conference rooms, and eating areas equipped with wipe boards and spacious roundtables. The entire setting is a paragon of design for the carrying out of cutting-edge, 21st century science. "It's a great building," says Lois Weisman, a research professor at LSI. "I do think that my productivity...


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