Design Research

Our clients live and work in complex environments. BWBR is a trusted advisor to those clients – assisting them to innovatively leverage those environments for a better world. Integrated design research helps our clients make informed decisions to utilize their facilities to best meet their missions.

We utilize a variety of methodologies to approach research questions and find the best possible fit between people, processes, and place: pre- and post-occupancy evaluations, literature reviews, and in-depth explorations into the topics that influence people and processes. We also regularly partner with academic and research institutions (or individuals) for expanded research perspectives and project opportunities. Our commitment to a knowledge-driven design culture creates a more engaged practice and inspires our team and our clients to exceed expectations.

Collaborating on equal success

[ENHANCE]

We see ourselves at the center of conversations and exchanges that make our profession what it is today. See how our insights engage these conversations, then join us — and help shape the world.

2019 Enhance Magazine_COVER

[ENHANCE] 2019: The Human-Centered Safety® Issue

Learning from how people react to their environments, in this issue of [ENHANCE] we’re examining both the tangible and intangible design strategies that can improve safety and make environments for care, education, and even rehabilitation better for staff and the people they serve.

[ENHANCE]: The Longevity Issue

[ENHANCE] 2018: The Longevity Issue

What does it mean to think long-term? How do people wrap their heads around the idea of a 100-year building? In this issue of [ENHANCE] we delve into
the mindset of thinking long-term, from master planning to creative problem-solving to cost analysis. We also revisit a critical access hospital in central Minnesota that opened 11 years ago to see how it continues to serve an ever-changing health care market.

Enhance Flexibility Issue

[ENHANCE] 2016: The Flexibility Issue

In this issue of [ENHANCE] we stretch our thinking to explore the idea of flexibility in the built environment — how clinical space can respond to changing care models; how classrooms adapt to different teaching and learning styles; and how climate change is forcing building owners to rethink their facilities. The president of Wisconsin’s first college also gives his impression of where a pioneering university fits in the 21st Century.

[ENHANCE]: The Office Design Issue

[ENHANCE] 2015: The Office Design Issue

The premier issue of BWBR’s design magazine, [ENHANCE] looks at how design affects the way we live, heal, and learn. In this issue, we examine the workplace, accommodating up to four generations at once, balancing the convenience of technology with the benefits of face-to-face collaboration, and creating environments that inspire ideas and attract top talent.

White Papers

We reflect on our experiences to expand our skills and knowledge, inform future projects, and help advance the profession. These white papers share some of that expertise.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services Van Andel Center Expansion

Investing In Behavioral Health For Better Outcomes

Value-driven facility improvements to promote more effective care.

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GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE WARREN AND DONNA BECK ACADEMIC HALL

Every Space Is A Learning Space

Encouraging informal learning and collaboration in higher education environments.

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AVERA MCKENNAN HOSPITAL AVERA CANCER INSTITUTE – PRAIRIE CENTER

Supporting The Psychosocial Needs Of Cancer Patients Through Design

Designing to support patient control, privacy, dignity, and hope.

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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA MASONIC CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CHILD/ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM

Child-Adolescent Mental Health: Using Sensory Environments To Help Patients Discover A New Reality

An examination of design strategies to influence pediatric patient care and outcomes.

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AVERA MCKENNAN HOSPITAL AVERA BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTER

Avera Behavioral Health Center: A 5-Year Post Occupancy Study

Design tactics and strategies scrutinized as facility’s prominent profile; open environment succeeds in changing image of mental health care.

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MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES MINNESOTA SEX OFFENDER FACILITY

Improving Safety And Care Through Smarter Design In Secure Treatment Facilities

Using open, softer environments to encourage behavioral change and reduce need for restraints and seclusion.

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AVERA MCKENNAN HOSPITAL AVERA BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTER

Enhancing Mental Health Care Delivery

Changing the image of mental health care through design solutions.

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Mercy Medical Center-West Lakes Hospital

Nursing Units And Communication

Considering the built environment’s impact on social support and job satisfaction.

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Research Summaries

While we can learn from our own experiences, we can often learn more from the experiences of others. These research summaries share the results of our project-driven studies.

Anytime Fitness New Corporate Headquarters

Reinforcing an Engaged and Energetic Corporate Culture at Self Esteem Brands/Anytime Fitness Corporate HQ

Findings from a pre- and post-occupancy study for the rapidly expanding global fitness franchise.

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KARNER BLUE EDUCATION CENTER KARNER BLUE EDUCATION CENTER

Healing Learning Environment Supports Student Self-Regulation

A case study at one of the first Minnesota education centers (Karner Blue Education Center) designed specifically for K-8 students with autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, and cognitive disabilities. This study investigates the ways in which design and architecture can influence the ability of students to self-regulate and/or de-escalate in a healing learning environment.

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North Dakota State University A. Glenn Hill Center for STEM Education

Active Learning Environments Support STEM Education

A post-occupancy study of North Dakota State University’s A. Glenn Hill Center for STEM Education builds awareness of how physical environments influence 21st century learning goals and encourages new explorations into active learning experiences in undergraduate classroom designs.

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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA MASONIC CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CHILD/ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM

Does Space Matter in Mental Health Treatment?

An exploratory study for a child/adolescent mental health inpatient unit in the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital examined design elements and spaces as contributing influences to behavior and wellbeing for patients, staff, and families.

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