Visioning to Laboratory Concept Design in a Day

Mark Paskanik, CRB

Laboratory projects can be extremely challenging and require a very thorough analysis. How do we as designers use our knowledge of past projects to work with the client to create their vision? In many cases a high level visioning process can be used in combination with practical approaches to create that vision in a day.

It all starts will a well-defined and laid out plan. Yes you can create that vision and concept design in a day, but it is the Pre-work that will make the day successful. With careful advanced planning and use of very interactive and visual tools, the process itself can be build consensus and be fun for the groups involved.

A general understanding of the process will be presented and a few of the interactive tools will be used such as imaging and polling sessions. Prior to running a kickoff visioning session, information is passed along to the various user groups as a survey to generate ideas about the project. A Pre-Read can be issued and asks questions in an open format that forms the basis of the needs for the project.

Halfway through your day, it will be become clear what the driving factors are for the project. At this point the concept design can be discussed, sketched and formed providing for a consensus based Concept Design.

Throughout the day design teams use their experience and knowledge with sustainable concepts, collaborative models and simplified engineering systems while maintaining an eye towards the budget.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to outline and form an interactive visioning agenda.
  • Discuss practical strategies and tools for building consensus.
  • Understand the steps needed to prepare for the kickoff visioning session.
  • Determine strategies for reducing carbon footprint and reducing operational costs.


Mark Paskanik, CRB Senior Architect & Laboratory Planner, has nearly 20 years of experience programming, planning and designing research facilities worldwide. With a focus on tested planning principles, Mark uniquely adapts each lab design to support the client's vision to create a collaborative, efficient and safe environment. Mark currently serves as a founding board member for the NC-Triangle Chapter of I2SL.


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