Science is widely seen as rational and objective. It is based on the Positivist believes in truth, rationality and progress of 18th century European Enlightenment.
Scientific Research Institutes are part of the continuum of the built environment we live and virtually spend our entire lives in. They reflect the practice of scientific inquiry and the activities of the people working in them.
The scientific heroes of the 19th and early 20th century conducted their experiments in singular room-like laboratories and some of these structures still serve scientific research today. Contemporary open-space laboratories house research teams tackling increasingly complex scientific questions requiring more and more complicated and expensive technology as well as increased scientific collaboration.
These labs seem indicative of our time, in which boundaries between the personal and the public and the domestic or the professional are increasingly blurred. The modular thinking prevalent in research fields such as genetics or computing is visible in these modular architectural spaces.
The accompanying book ‘Research Zones’ depicts the practice of scientific research in images of uninhabited research spaces. These photographs aim at showing research as a lived human experience and hint at the human beings who occupy these lab spaces.
Knowledge is Power.
Francis Bacon 1561-1626
Research is the process
of going up alleys
to see if they are blind.
Marston Bates, 1906-1974
I am among those who think
that science has great beauty.
A scientist in his laboratory is
not only a technician: He is also
a child placed before natural
phenomena which impress him
like a fairy tale.
Marie Curie, 1867-1934