Laborlandschaft : redesigning the industrial laboratory module
Author(s)Farley, Alexander H. (Alexander Hamilton)
Redesigning the industrial laboratory module
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Andrew M. Scott.
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This thesis proposes to redesign the industrial pharmaceutical laboratory typology by rethinking the composition of the laboratory module; the smallest functional sub-unit of the laboratory type. The design for this thesis applies contemporary corporate counter-culture spatial organizational ideas onto the laboratory module. Central to these concepts is an architecture that is user-oriented and environmentally sensitive rather than managerially-oriented. The spatial organization seeks to flatten the managerial hierarchy by eliminating explicit office spaces. The laboratory is instead spatially divided according to affinity for behaviors and activities rather than strict programmatic designations. The laboratory module was initially conceived during World War 11 as a spatial system to accommodate inter-disciplinary research and development teams in an industrial laboratory setting. However, the spatial design of the module has become deterministically dictated by managerial control systems and calibrated by infrastructural service, rather than serving the environmental and social needs of the researchers. Contemporary laboratory architecture requires the same shift away from spaces organized for clerical work to fluid and open fields that have occurred in corporate architecture. However, architectural design cannot control occupant's behaviors, but it can endorse a specific networked culture through the configuration of spaces. The use of common flexible spaces endorses and encourages social interaction. Likewise the form and figure of the laboratory establishes an environmental tone by allowing the research spaces to sit within an open field. This open field aspect allows for maximum daylighting and greater levels of visual and social interaction. Through a "plug and play" service infrastructure, the lab benches and fume hoods can behave more as setting and furniture rather than rigid spatial datums. Additionally, this spaces also provides for reconfigurability and easy upgradeability. By seeking to move away from standard laboratory spatial solutions and conventions the design takes the position that a laboratory field condition encourages new modes of scientific interaction and production. This laboratory functions as much as an intellectual play ground as it does a functional research laboratory.
Thesis: M. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, February 2014."January 16, 2014."--Abstract, page 5. Vita. Page 199 blank. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 190-194).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology