Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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A Formula to Make Your Occupant’s Architectural Memories Last

Did you know that there is memory bias? That is, memory can be changed, boosted, or impaired. So, if this is the case: What makes building occupants form stronger architectural memories than others?

Well, according to a Memory Bias article in Science Daily, there are many ways that memory bias can occur – but there are three main aspects. They are humor, positivity, and self-generated memories. Each of these latter aspects can boost memory in people. So, with this, I...

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Office Design Can Boost Creativity By Targeting Working Memory

Working memory is a part of everyone’s life. That is, it is the combination of the processes that go on during focused attention. Until now, it has been thought that such working memory is really limited to only one focused task, but now there is a theory that working memory is really a sum total of different processes that go on to accomplish tasks. (1)

For instance, say you’re involved in focused attention to get ready for a presentation. Well, the tasks that you are involved...

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Building Comfort in Architecture Isn’t Just About Temperature Control

Comfort in architecture can relate to many aspects of how a building gets designed. It’s not always just about temperature control — the issue that gets so much attention anytime building comfort gets mentioned. In fact, building comfort has a lot to do with how an architectural built form engages an occupant through all of their senses, particularly when considering the harmonization between them…like with factors of lighting, materiality, sound, and so...

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What Story does a Building Structure tell about a Building’s Journey

Building structure, at face value, is about the framework that holds up the building. But what does a commercial steel building structure reveal about the building perceptually? Does the rhythm of its components add to the excitement of experiencing an architectural work? And when do structural elements that are further detailed (as when a column is uniquely articulated), take on their own behavioral fabric?

Well, there are times when building structure contributes to a magnificent...

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Factoring Crowd Mentality Into Your Building’s Exterior Spaces

Have you ever thought about how crowd mentality factors into architectural design? Well, as you can see in the photo of the Spanish Steps, there is a prime example of crowd mentality, showing what happens when a simple factor like sunlight enters the picture. Do you notice how most of the people are sitting in the shade? And have you ever thought about analyzing your building design and its site in these terms?

The exterior areas of your building design are not just...

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Building Upon Minimal Architecture

There is something to be said about a design when it simply presents the user with only what is needed, when it is needed. Simple design does not mean that it is simplistic, but rather that it has stripped away the extraneous and unnecessary that would only confuse or belittle the power of the true underlying design core. This is often a strength of minimal architecture.

In fact, the image to the right depicts how a simple line can be manipulated to express such vast space and dimension...

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How an Architectural Site Analysis Reveals Design Opportunities

You can work with your building’s surroundings by repressing them, hiding from them, celebrating them, juxtaposing them, making fun of them, uplifting them, supporting them, replacing them, improving them, or even changing them. Look beyond your building’s immediate site, to analyze that which surrounds it. Look at what is permanent and semi-permanent, and at that which is intangible – like the surrounding culture. These issues can inform your architectural site...

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The Importance of Library Today and Into Tomorrow

With the advent of the digital age, numerous writers and even artists have given thought to what the future of the library will bring. Have you, as an architect, given any thought to how the digital era is changing libraries today — where certain functions within the library are seeming to fade away while other functions are becoming magnified as they are central to what will make libraries evermore important in the future?

In a thought-provoking article that I recently read, written by...

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Looking Beyond Building Type for Occupant Behavioral Clues

  

There are times where you, as an architect, can learn a lot about what your occupants will need. But during those times, it is important to question the validity of your information — does what you are learning about occupant behavior follow suit with what you have always believed? Or is there something new that you are noticing that contradicts what you’ve always thought about the way occupants behave? Either way, it’s time for you to start challenging what...

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10 Ways to Use Play in Architecture to Make it Stick

As you design, do you get mostly caught up in the ins and outs of building code, review board and specification requirements and/or limitations? And how do you use these “limitations” as you design?

Do they become issues that hamper and, piece by piece, chisel away at your initial design concept? Or, do you turn these limitations into a “game-like” mentality — where you think to yourself that these are mere guidelines that push you to think more deeply about your...

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