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Center for Health Research & Design

The Center for Health Research & Design (CHRD) is a multidisciplinary research center aimed at improving the physical and virtual environments for health and delivery of care. As part of the Sam Fox School of Design, the CHRD leverages its position within a top-tier research university to address challenges posed by changing health care delivery and wellness requirements.

Research in architecture, urban design, communication design, and art is integrated with collaborations with academic partners, delivery providers, design practitioners, and professional organizations in relevant fields across the University and the Greater St Louis region.

The CHRD emerged as a formal entity in 2015 after years of shared vision between leadership at Washington University, the Sam Fox School, Christner Architects, and BJC Healthcare. Thought leaders from these organizations saw an opportunity to leverage the expertise of local health care organizations, practitioners, and leading researchers to launch the CHRD.


To use research methods to develop new design knowledge that improves the experience of health and delivery of care from the community to the hospital and back.


To be a transformative force in the experience of health and delivery of care.