founding partner | architect | lead designer

John Barbour


John heads up Shelter’s project oversight and quality assurance. He’s an expert at interpreting building codes and sciences, gathering and prioritizing information from users, and innovating simple and beautiful solutions that meet people’s needs, budgets and timelines.

For more than 30 years, John has taken a team-driven approach to design that welcomes stakeholders and community members into the conversation. The goals of this participatory process are to develop a shared vision of the final product and to secure buy-in from the beginning. The approach has yielded wildly successful projects in the public realm, ranging in scale from the Science House — a net-zero-energy teaching outpost at the Science Museum of Minnesota — to the relocation of the entire downtown district of Sauk Rapids, MN, to make way for a new bridge over the Minnesota River.

John’s accomplishments as a leader in the practice of user collaboration earned him an AIA Fellowship in 2015. Prior to his time at Shelter, John founded and led Barbour/LaDouceur Design Group (BLDG).

Honors & Awards
  • AIA Minneapolis Merit Award
  • ASBO International Architecture Exhibition Award of Excellence
  • Multiple AIA Minnesota Honor Awards
Community Engagement
  • Past president, AIA St. Paul
  • Co-chair, Minnesota Design Team (MDT), AIA
  • Committee member, Lake Superior Design Retreat committee, AIA