Biography of Maria Lorena Lehman
Founder of MLL DESIGN LAB
Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary author, designer, artist, and innovator focusing on links between environmental design, science, and emerging technologies. Lehman is founder of the MLL Design Lab, LLC and author of the award-winning book entitled, Adaptive Sensory Environments. ArchDaily describes Lehman as “one of the leading experts on delivering exceptional occupant experience through smart building design”. Her research attracts an international audience as it bridges between theory and application to uncover what environments can do to benefit occupants in innovative ways.
Lehman holds a Master in Design with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (US), and a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (US). While at Harvard University, Lehman worked to innovate healing environments by researching at the nexus of architectural technology, digital media, and neuroscience within the Harvard Graduate School of Design, House_n. Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Neuroscience Department of the Harvard Medical School.
Maria Lorena Lehman was a Returning Critic, evaluating Master and Doctorate level student work for the Re-Visions course at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and also served as Instructor for the Digital Media Skills course for Master of Architecture students at Harvard University.
Prior to research in academia, Maria Lorena Lehman was an Associate at Boggs & Partners Architects, an award-winning architecture firm. During her six years with Boggs & Partners, she contributed to and led design efforts on an array of projects.
Throughout her career, Maria Lorena Lehman has received numerous honors for her creative designs and thoughtful investigations. Lehman is recipient of the Harvard University Digital Design Prize for the “most creative use of digital media in relation to the design professions”. She also received the Virginia Polytechnic Institute Juris Jansens Memorial Award for Excellence in Design and the Michelle Currie Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in the Study of Architecture.
Maria Lorena Lehman is internationally published and in numerous periodicals, including The Architect's Journal, Esquisses Magazine, Architect Magazine, and Forbes. Lehman is Author of the book entitled, Adaptive Sensory Environments published by Routledge. Her additional other publications include the “Environmental Sensory Design” book chapter in Intelligent Buildings (Second Edition), and her research paper entitled “How Sensory Design Brings Value to Buildings and their Occupants” in the Intelligent Buildings International peer-review journal published by Taylor & Francis.
In addition to writing and designing, Maria Lorena Lehman is Founder of the Sensing Architecture ® Academy, a digital platform where she teaches architectural practitioners, scholars, researchers and consultants from around the world how to apply her research. Courses at the Academy focus on architectural concept design, multi-sensory design, and innovation design all taught from the perspective of Sensing Architecture ® principles and methodologies.
Currently, Lehman’s research looks for new ways environments can uplift quality of life by innovating experience through multi-sensory design, adaptive design, and emerging design process tools, strategies, and methods. At the heart of her work is a motivation to push the role of the environment into more proactive realms that empower people to thrive and feel fulfillment at their highest potential. Maria Lorena Lehman has a vision for how interdisciplinary findings and innovations can converge together with creative and forward-thinking design processes to unlock more nurturing architectural futures.