Meet Barbara

Barbara Lyons Stewart, AIA, M.Arch, EDAC

is an Architect, Interior Designer, Consultant, Speaker and Author. She is certified in both Feng Shui and Evidence-Based Design and has been called a “Bridge” between ancient philosophies and the design of 21st century buildings – from wineries and corporations to hi-rise apartment complexes and medical centers.

Barbara bases her writing, speaking and consulting on 18 Instinct-Based Design Principles inspired by ancient design principles but substantiated by current scientific research in Environmental, Applied and Evolutionary Psychology, Neuroscience, Biophilia, and Healthcare’s Evidence-Based Design. Her recommendations can reduce stress and improve health for people of all cultures and ages.

As a speaker and consultant, Barbara helps her audience learn how to flip their design approach from a Creative/Innovation-Based Mindset to an Experiential/Instinct-Based Mindset through a series of fun project-related exercises. This will add value to any project by allowing design-professionals to “see” their designs the same way their end-users will.

What makes Barbara different than other Consultants and Speakers? She cuts through the thousands of theories and research studies and has found easily describable design concepts that her audience can apply to every phase of design for every project type – while avoiding ‘design-speak.’And she customizes every presentation to her specific audience (whether high-rise architectural designers or a flooring manufacturer’s sales teams).

Because Barbara understands the messages we unconsciously receive from our buildings, her clients generally introduce her as their ‘Building Psychologist’.

Lyons Stewart Architects
Barbara’s architectural and interior design experience (which informs her consulting practice) began at Ellerbe and RSP Architects in Minneapolis, and continued at SOM Chicago and The Woods Group in San Francisco. In 1992, she opened her firm Lyons Stewart Architects, providing architectural and interior design services to clients including ABC/7-Disney, Pacific Union Commercial, AIA San Francisco, KFOG, Wild Planet Toys, Anshen+Allen, The New York Times, FOX/Cox Media, The Republic of Tea and numerous Corporate and Professional Firms in the San Francisco Bay Area including DWK Law Offices, SLD Accounting and Equius Partners. Barbara has helped most of her clients with multiple relocations and renovations.

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Click on this link to read: Barbara Lyons Stewart Client List.

FLOORING PSYCH: How to Avoid (Literally) Slipping and Tripping Through Life is available on Amazon.

Barbara co-authored Feng Shui: A Practical Guide for Architects and Designers with Vincent Smith as part of Kaplan’s Professional Management Series. It can be purchased from the AIA Bookstore.

Click on the Healthcare Design Magazine cover to read Barbara’s article “Are we being too Innovative when we select Healthcare Art?” (Vendome Group / The Center for Health Design 2011)


Education, Awards and Client List:

  • Masters in Architecture from the University of Minnesota/Minneapolis
  • Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin/Madison
  • Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification from the Center for Health Design.
  • Feng Shui Practitioners’ Certification from the Golden Gate School of Feng Shui in Marin County, CA

Barbara received an AIA Special Achievement Award as Interior Designer of the LEED platinum AIA San Francisco Office. She has served on AIA design juries and on the Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota College of Architecture.

Barbara is a registered architect in California, and a member of the American Institute of Architects and the International Feng Shui Guild.

Barbara’s goal as a consultant, architect and speaker is to help design professionals and clients create supportive and healthy environments based upon Human Instinct and Nature (instead of Human Ego and Design Fads).

Click the buttons below to learn how Barbara’s Consulting and Speaking programs will help you meet your client’s project goals.

And contact Barbara @


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Barbara Lyons Stewart ~ Architectural Design Psychology consultant
Barbara Lyons Stewart, AIA EDAC

As a consultant, I help Building Owners, their Architects and Interior Designers incorporate research into their design process to help promote client and end-user goals including:

- Reducing Stress
- Increasing Productivity
- Fostering Creativity
- Promoting Focus & Concentration
- Improving Staff-Retention, Health & Satisfaction

The Research is out there. Why not let it enrich your practice by informing your design decision-making?
Please e-mail:

“AECOM has consulted with Barbara on three major medical centers. She worked with our design teams to apply her nature-based environmental psychology research into wonderfully successful outcomes with each project. We have effectively applied the concepts described in her new book, Flooring Psychology, and feel that the time spent with Barbara has enhanced how we think as architects, or more importantly, how we can stop thinking like architects for a period and take on the viewpoint of the real end users and people who will occupy these spaces. Collaborating with Barbara has been a pleasure and I look forward to our next endeavor.”
Thomas Thompson, Associate Principal, Healthcare Studio Leader, AECOM

"Quantifiable Data: Firms able to demonstrate to their clients that the impact of what they design can be objectively measured will have a leg up on the competition."
AIArchitect Magazine, January 2012

barbara flooringpsych

Click the cover to hear Barbara's Interview with Floor Focus Magazine or Click the Flooring Psych cover to purchase Barbara's book from Amazon FLOORING PSYCH: How to Avoid (Literally) Slipping and Tripping through Life