Laboratory Design (LD): How did you get into your field?
John Fowler (JF): I’ve had a passion for design since I was young, even though I didn’t recognize it until I was finishing high school. My interest in designing for the health and science fields came later. I enjoy the challenge of incorporating aesthetically beautiful and uplifting design into spaces with a high level of functional and regulatory demands. I also enjoy learning about the work done by the intelligent, specialized professionals in the healthcare, R&D and science/technology fields. Designing for lab spaces provides me with the opportunity to learn about other professions in addition to my own.
LD: What’s a common mistake made by those working on designing/constructing a laboratory?
JF: A common mistake in this field is to design lab spaces according to the way things have been done in the past instead of the ideal future state. In Margulies Perruzzi’s lab design work, we utilize a customized LEAN 3P process to examine the existing state value stream map and weed out any work-arounds that have been created due to existing space constraints or outdated work flows. We then create a future value stream map that eliminates waste before we start space planning. Our process provides a more efficient and collaborative space for the client.
LD: Do you write anything—articles, published books, white papers, etc.?
JF: I frequently contribute articles to industry publications and enjoy the exploratory process of writing to educate readers. Two recent articles include “Striking a Balance between Transparency and Privacy in Health and Science Projects,” and “Using LEAN 3P to Implement Operational Change in Healthcare Settings,” which I co-authored with Jason Costello of Margulies Perruzzi.
LD: If you could give just one piece of advice to others in your field, what would it be?
JF: Design for your clients, not for yourself.
LD: What do you like to do in your spare time?
JF: Spending time with family and anything that gets me outside and moving around. Hiking, snowboarding, visiting places I’ve never been.