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Have you ever thought about how lab design and layout affect efficiency?

For many labs, the organisation of benches and instruments happens organically. New equipment is often shoved into whatever space is available with little thought about how the location might impact a user’s workflows. And that can cause problems in the long run.

At Evolve, we believe that lab design plays a vital role in promoting worker safety, productivity, and scientific discovery.   

A range of new trends and technologies are shaping the future of lab design, with many organisations now opting for open-design labs to promote teamwork and collaboration.

More open space, visibility and flexibility means there are fewer individual workstations. This enables increased collaboration, safety and teamwork; and means learning and researching is embraced.


Flexible working has turned the working world on its head. And its impact on lab spaces is no different.

In research and development, more and more clinical and controlled environments are now being designed with flexible furniture, such as locking casters that allow you to rearrange benches and workstations.

Cutting-edge technology makes it so much easier to reconfigure the space, speeding up scientific workflows in the process. Importantly, it can help design teams make a wide variety of cost savings too.

That’s because research can quickly move in new scientific directions, without the need for dedicated bench spaces or any major building renovations.

Flexible working and collaborative spaces also enable teams to innovate more easily. Innovative designs for flexible and modular labs include mobile workstations, storage, and shelving.


Sustainable lab design promotes environmental conservation and health and safety. Innovative designs for sustainable labs include the use of recycled materials, energy-efficient lighting, and low-emission finishes.   

These features help reduce energy consumption and limit the emission of harmful chemicals into the environment. 

Technology Integration  

Technology integration enhances lab efficiency and productivity. Innovative designs for technology-integrated labs include integrated power and data connectivity, task lighting, and touchscreens.   

These features allow researchers to access essential data and information easily and quickly. 

Ergonomic Design  

Ergonomic design promotes worker safety and productivity. Innovative designs for ergonomic labs include adjustable workstations, chairs, and accessories. These features help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and increase comfort and productivity. 


Accessibility compliance promotes worker safety and equal access. Innovative designs for accessible labs include adjustable-height workstations, task lighting, and seating.   

These features help ensure that all workers, including those with disabilities, can access and use lab equipment safely and effectively. 

Emerging Technologies

As technology accelerates at a rapid rate, we’ll also see more life science organisations create their own ‘smart labs’.

Advances in fields like artificial intelligence have spurred the invention of a number of useful lab-based tools. These include sample freezers powered by sensors, lab benches that clean themselves and smart safety goggles that display useful information in real-time.

The incorporation of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, automation and robotics, and systems that integrate data analytics and AI will allow for greater efficiency, safety, and productivity in lab settings.

Evolve expert view

Researchers working in today’s laboratories are constantly innovating. so it makes sense that the scientific spaces they work in are just as dynamic.

At Evolve, we believe the future of life science is both forward-thinking and flexible. And with lab design evolving alongside the changing needs of modern scientists, there’s never been a more exciting time to join this industry.

Evolve Business Account Manager Zachary Muscat said: ‘Lab design is critical in promoting worker safety, efficiency, and scientific discovery. The latest trends and technologies in lab design, including flexibility and modularity, sustainability, technology integration, ergonomic design, and accessibility, provide innovative solutions for enhancing lab environments.   

‘By implementing these design elements, labs can promote safety, efficiency, and sustainability, and advance scientific research and development.’

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