Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
EXPLORE JOURNAL TOPICS

Architectural Technology: From Information Age to “Sensemaking” Era

Today we have what you might refer to as information overload. We have information coming in from every angle. And because of this, the Institute for the Future states that we will eventually enter an age of “sensemaking”. It is interesting to think of how this will apply to architecture.

In my opinion, I think that architecture should be at the cutting edge of this era. Architecture could make use of incoming information, via sensors and rule-based systems. It could interact with...

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Architectural Skin as a Design Bridge

Most building “skins” today are quite static. Instead of being a bridge that allows the exterior and interior to communicate, many building skins today serve to separate the interior from the exterior with only, if any, intermittent window openings. What if, instead, architects designed building skins to synchronize occupant environments with real-time occupant needs?

Jean Nouvel’s Institute of the Arab World in Paris (above) is an excellent example of how exterior walls can...

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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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How Architecture Technology Interacts With You

When designing technology into architecture it must be integrated – not just to fit in with the aesthetic effects of the architecture, but to also fit into the narrative of the place. All too often, technology sits where conversations should spark. Computers, televisions and even lighting technologies should enhance the functions they support. 

Do you remember the last time you were in a dressing room and felt you looked terrible? Blame it on the lighting that feels like an...

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The Collective Effect of Architectural Technology

Architectural technology should enhance and even proactively promote the functions within an architectural space. All too often; however, systems detract from a space’s function, sometimes rendering the space temporarily or even permanently useless. For example, improperly synchronized lighting, HVAC and/or acoustical systems can make for “painful” architectural experiences –- particularly for patients in hospital buildings. To solve such problems, architects should...

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Designing Architectural Technology with Nature

Sometimes there is a fine line between technology and nature. That line can be as obvious as a window pane or as slight as an accent of green picked out in a textile pattern. There are many ways to integrate nature into an architectural design. For example, be conscious of your choices when selecting features like color and texture. After all, the human senses respond to certain color and texture palettes. 

Mirroring nature in just the right places can make architectural environments...

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Design Beyond Building Automation Systems to Provide Occupant Autonomy

Creating an Ever-Changing Architectural Story

The design of architectural environments factors for occupant function, aesthetics, and meaning — but how often does it allow for occupant choice. One of the powerful aspects of environmental design is when the occupant narrative is designed as a real-time and ever-changing journey. That is, occupants can travel through the architectural “story”, but can also choose which directions it takes.

The more adaptive and responsive...

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The Value of User Control within Smart Spaces

User Control Can Be Nuanced

Frequently, there are benches and chairs located in public spaces like parks, plazas, and restaurants. And often these chairs are bolted to the ground to prevent users from rearranging or stealing them. When a user sits in one of these chairs, they must adapt to the conditions set by the chair. This chair is constrained, in that it cannot be moved. Yet, when similar other chairs are not bolted to the ground and can be moved, just about every user actually moves...

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Why Smart Home Control Points Are Good

The smart home will be able to do a lot by way of automated systems that assist, guide, and educate building occupants. But what happens when such guidance is wrong? How will the smart home know it needs to correct itself? As such, adaptive architecture needs to allow for occupant override — so occupants can choose their own preferences, or can cancel an action.

The beauty of adaptive architecture is that it does have a predictive element, where architectural...

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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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