John Barbour



John is a partner and lead designer at Shelter Architecture. Prior to his time at Shelter, John founded and led Barbour/LaDouceur Design Group (BLDG). For the past 30+ years, he has taken a team- driven approach to design that invites stakeholders and community members into the process. The goal of this participatory process is to develop a shared vision of the final product and secure buy-in from the beginning. It has yielded wildly successful projects in the public realm, ranging in scale from the Science House — a net-zero teaching outpost at the Science Museum of Minnesota — to the relocation of the entire downtown district of Sauk Rapids 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. John is in charge of Shelter’s project oversight and quality assurance. He is a master 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.

In addition to his national recognition in the AIA College of Fellows, John has received numerous awards and recognitions including the AIA – Minneapolis Merit Award, ASBO International Architecture Exhibition Award of Excellence, and multiple AIA Minnesota Honor Awards. He is the past president of the American Institute of Architects St. Paul chapter and has served on numerous AIA committees over the years, most notably the Lake Superior Design Retreat committee and the Minnesota Design Team (MDT). As the co-chair and a 30-year member of the MDT, John works with community members in cities and towns across Minnesota to identify improvements for the built environment. Project types range from public spaces to arts and cultural centers to civic and governmental buildings.

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