Research Embedded in Design
As a firm, DLR Group believes it is our responsibility to embed research into our design practice. Why? Because the built environment impacts all peoples’ human experience every day, every week, every year – where they work, live, learn and play – and we choose to elevate that experience. This belief is especially true in my area of expertise, K-12 education design.
The scientific communities’ research findings that impact learning (i.e., brain science, educational psychology, environment behavior science, and more) have amplified over the last 15 years. Our clientele’s new demand is that their architect understands this important work and knows how to apply it at both the macro and micro levels. Districts also want their design partners to share proof that the innovative solutions will work for advanced learning places, which means generating primary research to measure our own work. Generating this type of new knowledge takes leadership – a challenge DLR Group has met with enthusiasm and resolve.
DLR Group is leading the industry by:
- Embedding research into our practices, allowing us to demonstrate evidence of proof that our solutions support student success through active engagement in their learning process;
- Changing our culture to be inclusive of other disciplines and diverse backgrounds, such as environment behaviorists, academics, and researchers;
- Beginning the work of elevating the micro environment (i.e., interiors) by including this specific research, design applications and expertise in the pre-design, and visioning processes;
- Continuing the development of primary research to earn the title of “Knowledge Leader”; and
- Scaling the integration of research, or design intelligence into our design solutions to benefit learners of all ages.
Design is what we do. Our passion is to take a blank sheet of paper and mold the ideas of our clients into a vision that they could not imagine. Today, it is also our responsibility to consider how the environments we design impact the human spirit and touch each person’s passions to learn. It’s not good enough to be innately sensitive to solving clients’ problems. We have to know. We have to create new knowledge. We have to embed divergent thinkers into our practice to generate evidence-based solutions. Research is the new differentiator between being a good design firm and a great one.