Design Research

Design is a powerful tool to create change; however, it is important we strive to understand, through research, how the design of built environments impacts humans in our everyday lives. BWBR’s formal research program began in 2007, growing out of our vision to serve as a knowledge resource for our clients and to commit ourselves to developing a deeper understanding of the impacts that design has on occupants, organizations, and our communities.

By applying a level of rigor and relying on evidence-based design, our team creates opportunities for adding value and innovation. BWBR’s commitment to a knowledge-driven design culture creates a more engaged practice and inspires our team (and our clients) to exceed expectations.

BWBR’s Research Practice Includes:

Click below to explore:

White Papers

Research Summaries

Collaborating on equal success

White Papers

BWBR’s library of free, open-access original white papers allow us to share our expertise, inform future projects, and help advance the profession.

Scenario Planning Overview

Scenario Planning

How to be Resilient in Design and Operations

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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

BWBR’s original research summaries share the practical results of our project-driven studies, outlining the methodology, findings, and impact.

University of Minnesota Microbiology Research Facility

Supporting Scientific Inquiry through Informed Lab Design

Findings from a pre-occupancy study conducted to inform the design of the University of Minnesota Microbiology Research Facility.

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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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Ready to explore our research capabilities?

Get in touch with our team today!

Stefnee Trzpuc's headshot

Stefnee J Trzpuc, CID, EDAC, LEED AP

Principal and Design Researcher

Championing a design research and knowledge management program, Stefnee lends passion for problem solving in design research, organizational learning, and operational improvement. As an EDAC accredited professional Stefnee leads a program focused on identifying, capturing, and sharing knowledge to enhance client service and staff development. She has co-authored peer-reviewed studies examining the impact evidence-based design has on occupant outcomes. Stefnee’s work has been published in Health Environments Research and Design Journal and has spoken as industry conferences and events. She has also served as an adjunct instructor and frequent guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as well as a guest presenter at other universities.

e. strzpuc@bwbr.com

p: 651.290.1987