An Overview of LAB2050

Chu Hall SmithGroup

The Laboratory of the Half Century (AKA Lab2050) is an inspirational initiative SmithGroup embarked on to dig deep into the scientific trends, new technologies and economics that will shape the design concepts of research laboratory environments in the next decades.

In 2001, the firm’s Science & Technology practice took on a similar initiative — Lab2020. At that time, we conducted a national inquiry with leading academic research institutions to better understand requirements for future research spaces. Science was rapidly expanding into new frontiers, the practice revisited that concept in 2007. Again, it reached out to institutional clients to understand the trends and ideas that influenced laboratory design in the next decades. Fittingly, that was coined Lab2030. 

Now, we believe that the research landscape is continuing it’s rapid pace of change and evolution. Funding is tighter than ever, collaborations are crucial to secure tight money or find non-federal dollars, technology continues to advance at an escalating pace and inter-disciplinary interactions are the norm in almost every industry. These factors are having a powerful impact on the future of science and research, including the environments in which it takes place. SmithGroup wants to be at the forefront of that change with transformative programming, planning and design solutions. 

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