Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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Get Design Insight from Roomba-Embedded Building Air Quality Maps

So often, as an architect, attention is paid to the visual senses as masses, materiality, and even lighting are carefully chosen for a particular design vision. But how do you as an architect target more intangible things, like building air quality?

I read an article recently that describes one way to track patterns of building air qualitychanges within a room. You see, by using a sensor-embedded Roomba, researchers were able to “map” any detrimental changes in a...

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When Lighting Interiors Hurt, it Impacts Your Building’s Effectiveness

Have you ever thought about the significance of lighting in terms of how it affects your daily activities and your ability to perform them well? Lighting interiors can make a significant difference in carrying through the intent of how you want your building to function, whether it be a retail clothing store, a hospital patient room, a residential design or a school classroom.

In the following four examples, I will be presenting you with how lighting can make a significant...

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A New Spin on Sense Technologies Can Boost Your Design’s Effectiveness

There are many times on this site where I write about new sense technologies that are evolving and making their way into the mainstream, and I often encourage you as an architect to think about unique and creative ways that you can integrate this technology into your design to make it better for your occupants — this is a distinction from simply using technology “just for the sake of using it”, but rather to use it when the time and place is appropriate so it can...

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Can This Multi Touch Interactive Table Help Architects Work Smarter?

New interactive tools are surfacing to help architects do their job better. One such tool is a multi touch 3-D architectural application which can be used as both an interactive table device and a larger scale screen projection. While I can see such devices being helpful to architects for brainstorming, project reviews, coordination meetings, and client presentations, we really should ask — is this just another “cool” device? Or, does it really help architects...

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Building Systems Where RFID Antennas Can Communicate with HVAC Ducts

As current buildings make their way toward becoming interactive architectural environments that increasingly gain capabilities to adapt, you can begin to imagine how that kind of building’s communication system will act like a “nervous system” that travels throughout the building infrastructure. But you may ask yourself, just how might this “wiring” take place? And how can we prevent that communication infrastructure from being redundant both in the labor it...

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Smart Windows Mark the Path Toward the “Tunable” Smart Building

New technologies are emerging like smart windows that are not only making it more energy efficient and cheaper for occupants to run their smart building systems during different seasons of the year, but are providing a way to make occupants feel more comfortable as well.

There is a new smart window on the market which is described as “tunable” in that it would give people a way to control how much light and heat come in through that window. The key here is that the smart...

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Schematic Design – Using an Occupant-Centered Design Approach

INTRODUCTION: THE DEFINITION

Schematic design is the first stage of an architectural design project, and within this phase there are important milestones to get right that will greatly leverage the project’s results throughout the rest of its impending design phases. For example, by iteratively designing through various schematic prototypes, it becomes possible to optimize one’s design concept idea in a way that prevents future errors and expands the discovery of new design...

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“Just-in-Time” Interactive Surface Design Can Help Your Building

Buildings are much more than a surrounding envelope which merely exists in a state separated from its occupants and their objects and tools. Instead, buildings are part of the landscape which helps occupants to live better. And now, with more sensory technologies, architecture can connect anew with occupants to greatly uplift their lifestyle… through their objects and tools that they use everyday.

Much of this is done by making interactive surface design within your...

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Clothing as a Bridge Between Human Process and Architecture

Just imagine wearing clothes that monitor your body’s processes throughout the day. Well, in a recent issue of Scientific American it was found that MIT researchers have come up with a piezoelectric fiber that can record and produce sound. So, what does this mean for architecture and why would this impact you and your designs? I think the answer is in understanding that clothes can act as a bridge between your occupant and your building.

You see, as your occupant travels through...

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Urban Architecture – A Design Process of Co-Creation

INTRODUCTION – ADAPTIVE URBAN ARCHITECTURE

Urban design within cities around the world has impact upon the citizens they serve. As environmental designers, it is important to continuously evolve how cities beneficially influence citizens as they live their daily lives within these urban areas. A critical way by which to accomplish this is to design urban architecture within such cities so they cooperate and collaborate together to yield a relationship of co-creation with their...

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