DBR | Design Build Research is a non-profit institute founded to offer a new model for design education and research. Our school is dedicated to teaching the design and construction of socially, culturally and environmentally relevant student-led installations. DBR also offers a research platform with a focus in systemic change in building for climate, environment, disaster and global shelter needs.
The program brings young kids and old into the design and construction process and helps them maintain their curiosity in the built environment as they grow. By engaging students in community based projects they learn life skills; from hands-on design and building to leadership, teamwork and ultimately the importance of lifelong mentorship and community contribution.
Our ambition is to encourage a generation of designers, builders and mentors across all age groups. It is the tradition of the design professions to pass our skills from generation to generation. DBR was founded to champion that tradition in a new model of teaching.
Each project is a legacy of ideas. Through DBR, we are able to give back to our community and teach design and construction as an agent of social change.
In Spring 2014, architect Michael Green, leading structural engineer Eric Karsh and social entrepreneur Scott Hawthorn founded DBR on the idea that every kid in grade six knows how to draw and build. By grade 10 only half of the students in a class will raise their hand and say they have those skills. By grade 12, only a small handful feel they have the art and design skills and talent to pursue a design career in particular. We believe design skills should not only scale to design professions, but also lead to design thinking in other professions. Empowering students to bring ideas into reality through building is fundamental.
Course instruction is led by the Directors and team of DBR, members of Michael Green Architecture, DBR alumni, and guest lectures from various industry experts and tradespeople. We will grow to include other professionals interested in teaching and contributing to our community through design build insertions.
Our students to date have been from various undergraduate and graduate design programs and have engaged in high-profile, meaningful projects locally and internationally. We intend to open our institute to kids from grade 6 and up through to Intern Architects, practicing designers and architects, and ultimately, retired designers, builders and architects who we hope will help us mentor and teach a next generation of hands-on and socially-vested young designers.