Meet the expert...

Renee Chritensen

Director, Mind Concept Lead at International WELL Building Institute

Renee Chritensen
Striving for a better understanding of human behavior in order to improve environmental design, Dr. Christensen has invested decades studying the connections between behavioral sciences, neuroscience and the human experience of architecture. Uniting behavioral, cognitive and neuroscience discoveries into useful, empathic programming and design approaches allows her to address humanity’s most complex problems through architecture. She leverages those insights to transform practice and connect architecture empathically to the people it serves. She currently serves as Director and Mind Concept Lead for the International WELL Building Institute where she is responsible for translating complex theoretical concepts into implementable requirements for architects and designers. Her previous position as a Senior Research Fellow at National University of Singapore, School of Design and Environment (2019-2021) leveraged on her knowledge of Long-Term Care (LTC) design which resulted in peer reviewed journal articles and an architectural design brief for their national ministries to create future-ready nursing homes. In addition to working with the Department of Real Estate to develop a sustainable managed-care finance model for elderly care, she also worked with the Building and Urban Data Science (BUDs) lab at NUS’s Department of Building to increase the scope of their mobile data platform, Cozie, to integrate human-centered input (presented at the 2022 ISIAQ conference). Dr. Christensen has presented her research at international conferences such as Environmental Research Design Association (EDRA), Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) and International Conference on Environmental Psychology (IECP) and has been a peer reviewer for EDRA conference presentation proposals since 2018. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Christensen holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Environment & Behavior from the Department of Architectural Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master’s degree in Education (Human Services) and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Drury University, Springfield, Missouri. In her free time, you can find her reading, listening to her favorite podcast or exploring unknown territories with one (or more) of her six children.
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