Diverse Strategies to Compete in Changing Times
Steve Hackman, SmithGroup
In the fight to compete for top faculty and funding, research institutions around the country are using focused strategies and unique approaches to provide facilities that bolster their specialized capabilities, greater efficiencies, and open new lanes for discovery. These include three critical themes: specialized science investments, social initiative priorities, and pandemic agility.
Specialized science investments in "monumental" research consist of Imaging, Mock Mine, FabLab, Seismic, Nuclear, and other advanced facilities. Case studies from coast to coast include corporations, government, and universities that are calibrating their high-tech facilities for specialized research.
Social initiative priorities at the institutional level require not only social solutions, but also built environment solutions. Utilizing engagement tools and a collaborative process during design can enable diversity, equity, inclusion and justice to optimize representation and consensus.
Pandemic agility has been realized through many lessons learned from working through the impacts of the COVID-19 virus. In a recent SmithGroup survey, wellness, facility flexibility and team mobility rose to the top as respondent priorities. New technology allows for more effective lab/office utilization in order to manage rapid change and assignment of space.
Continued focus to explore new ideas in planning will achieve institutional goals by supporting unique science, social engagement, and future adaptation.
- Investigate focused strategies and unique approaches to achieve institutional goals by supporting unique science, social engagement, and future adaptation;
- Discuss investments in advanced facilities that bolster high-tech, specialized research;
- Explore priorities at the institutional level and learn about design engagement tools and a collaborative process to optimize equal representation and consensus; and
- Review a recent COVID survey of lab institutions' top priorities during the pandemic, and discuss lab/office utilization methods for managing rapid change and future innovation.
Steve Hackman, AIA, LEED AP is a principal/ senior laboratory planner at SmithGroup, one of the nation's largest architecture, engineering, and planning firms, with 15 offices across the globe. With over 35 years of experience, Hackman is a leader within the firmwide Science & Technology practice and supports clients in strategic lab planning.
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