Designing the Scientific Workplace for Health and Wellbeing

Isabel Mandujano, LPA Design Studios
Rachel Nasland, LPA Design Studios

Safety and workflow efficiency are frequently the first priorities in the design of a laboratory facility. With the rigor and systematic processes required of science, the humanistic aspect of the scientist is often neglected. However, the recent climate has brought to the forefront the importance of incorporating health and wellness, inclusive design, and a vibrant culture to attract and retain the best talent. In this presentation we will explore the guiding principles of WELL, Fitwel and other rating systems that prioritize human health and well-being. We will then provide concrete examples of ways in which design can improve and support the workplace experience of scientists from a holistic human perspective.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the basic guiding principles of WELL, Fitwel and similar concepts within other rating systems that focus on improving employee health and wellbeing;
  • Examine the relationship between human behavior and the built environment, workplace satisfaction, and employee performance;
  • Learn about different ways in which facilities can improve working conditions for scientists by applying human-centric design principles; and
  • Discuss potential benefits of creating workplace environments that respond to human needs and provide better outcomes for people, environment, and community.


Isabel Mandujano leads LPA's laboratory planning practice, helping create innovative research and development facilities in established life science campuses as well as emerging ecosystems. Isabel enjoys working with laboratory managers and scientists to create high-performance laboratories that are inspiring, sustainable, functional, and safe.

Rachel is a Research Analyst and Design Strategist at LPA Design Studios. Trained in environmental psychology, she uses a mixed-methods approach to examine the interplay between human behavior and the natural and built environment to support design teams throughout the design process, from pre-design to post-occupancy evaluations. With a greater understanding of how the immediate environment impacts its users, and in turn, how individuals use their space, Rachel informs design that contributes to user-centered environments emphasizing health, well-being, and sustainability. She is a certified Fitwel Ambassador and is pursuing her WELL AP certification.


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