Journal of Design Insight

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

What to Ask Yourself Before an Architectural Experience

Do you seek out architectural experiences? Go beyond the confines of your office and your project site. Visit meaningful architectural works in the world (whether local to you or a distant trip away). And before you visit, ask yourself the following question – “What do I want to get out of experiencing this particular work?” Answer this question before your trip, and you will make better use of your trip because you will be looking for the creative growth you need at that...

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Strengthen Your Design Process By Going Semi-Public

Get feedback from others that you respect, and I mean more than only your client. Don’t work in a vacuum. By making your work “semi-public” at certain stages (even if “semi-public” means “within your office”), your design will become stronger as you will be able to respond with creative solutions to the different perspectives of what is working or not working within your project. Use the feedback you receive as a way to understand your own design...

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Master a Tool that Will Help You to See More in Your Design

Improve your skillset. Learn how to use a new tool, whether it be a computer-based one, a new physical or virtual modeling technique, or even a tool which can help you to develop a new way of analyzing building design factors like noise, light, wind, temperature and so on. Learning a new skill will help you think differently and communicate differently. And the more versatile you are with communicating design ideas to yourself and others, the stronger your designs will be from inception to...

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Learn to Balance the Art of Efficiency with Experimentation

Build experiments. When choosing a material color or texture for your building – test it. You can run experiments for testing in virtual of physical models, in drawings and diagrams or even through mind maps which can help you organize your thoughts for pro-con lists or systems development, for example. Understand that architectural ideas and visions can be tested, for further development and sophistication. Learn to balance the art of business efficiency with creative design...

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Why Looking Beyond Architecture for Input is Important

Find inspiration from other medias, like books, art or even film. Notice how the narratives flow, how the compositions are harmonized and how different senses are leveraged to convey messages through those mediums. Remember the expression that says “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture?” Different medias and their narratives interrelate (in grand part due to the way we humans perceive through our senses). Take advantage of this as an architect. Use your creative...

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How to Find a Challenging Design Solution When You’re Stuck

When you are working on an aspect of your design where you just don’t seem to be making headway on finding an elegant solution, try shifting to something else for a while — or if it’s the end of the day, simple leave it as what you will tackle first thing the next day. By leaving the design problem, think of it as still “facing you”. So, take a break or sleep on it overnight, and when you return to it the next day — the design problem’s solution will...

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Designing an Urban Space for Safety during Off-Peak Hours

We all have similar urban spaces that we don’t like to hang around. Train stations, bus stations and just outside retail stores after hours. I’m sure when you have to pass through these places, you like to move quickly. And why is this? This is probably because it isn’t so safe.

So, what does this have to do with architectural design?

THE AFTER-HOURS BUILDING “PULSE”

The next time you are involved in a design for these types of places, you really should...

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Buildings that Cause Occupants to Feel Fear — Part 3

This article is the third article in a three part series. To read the first and second article in the series, please click on the links below:

THE MANY TYPES OF FEAR

There are so many places where just approaching a building can cause fear, simply because of the institution type. Take hospitals, for instance....

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Keeping Your Occupants Safe by Building Community — Part 2

This article is the second article in a three part series. To read the first article in the series, please click on the link below:

SAFETY INSIDE AND OUT

In my previous article entitled Designing Architecture for a Sense of Safety — Part 1, I explained why the “context” surrounding your building is so important. This led to my discussing “The Big Question” that cuts...

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Designing Architecture for a Sense of Building Safety — Part 1

IT’S WHAT YOU WANT

Everyone wants a safe(r) place to live, to work and to do everything in between. I’m sure you’re no different.

So how does architecture contribute to safety? And what is its connection with a person’s sense of safety? What role does architectural design play?

Safety is a really important part of what architecture can do. In buildings, your occupant should feel not only healthy and comfortable, but also safe.

That’s why I’m writing...

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