There has been much speculation about what the academic scientific workplace of the future will look like. As young scientists enter the post-doctoral and faculty ranks and recent college graduates enter graduate school, architects and laboratory planners will need to re-think the way we design research environments so that these facilities will best serve the next generation of scientists. An in-depth look at both learning and workplace trends can help identify the guiding principles that will transform laboratory design in the next few decades. Learning, workplace and technology trends are closely intertwined. The development of emerging technologies and how these technologies will be adopted by the lab users will be important factors to consider. Evolving workplace structures, such as the flattening of the organizational pyramid, will also have an impact on the spatial relationships of laboratory functions.