The discussion here feels like a design charrette for me already. From what I can observe so far, the move to South Wall seems to be a consensus. I agree on it with a little twist. I'm nowhere near an expert in electronics, so for the text below, I'm simply speaking from my own experience. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
The Electronics Area as it is right now has a T-shaped organization, or inter-connected as a couple of mirrored "L"s. Equipments are concentrated, and seats are against each other along two long sides. From the perspective of open planning, this presents large footprint, and low circulation efficiency.
As I am looking at Mike's Innovation Space, I was reminded of my visit to Pumping Station One half a year ago, and I start to see the potential of "unfolding" the electronics area, so that it becomes a widespread, vivid, and energizing tech collage. So in other word, the area could be something that "duplicates" what Mike is doing now, and thinly stretches across the entire South Wall, with worktables along the span.
And I think I do have some good reasons for it:
1) It could be a pretty decent strategy of acoustical treatment for the indoor environment at a very low cost, since the South Wall will become a "rougher" surface with panels of shelves for electronic components, and therefore less reflective and making the open space less reverberant;
2) Organization and neatness could be largely improved because of the stretch, since everything becomes visually direct, and user of the space could immediately know where to look for what they want; and like I said, it would be a "collage," and would be a bee-U-tiful and exciting one;
3) It's helpful for circulation and accessibility; if all current workbenches are moved to the other side where the Electronics Area currently is, more innovation spaces will be opened up, and members who own these spaces will have super easy access! Efficient circulation right here. It would be convenient for other members as well;
4) Ventilation; I do take consideration of the fume exhausters, but in general it seems harder for the fume to go away in a clustered area than in a stretched-out circumstance; thus, having the electronics area completely open might be able to help, both for health and for fire safety.
I guess that's it! It could be a little hard to visualize what's in my mind, so I might come up with a floor plan to detail this a little bit more later tonight. But I love what's being discussed here. Hope my input would help, and I'd keep listening.