Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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Rethink “Transition” to Unleash A New Kind of Design Fluidity

As new emerging technologies surface, the idea of “transition” will take on entirely new form. Not only will “transition” continue to exist between building materials (like you see in buildings today), but “transition” will also be present within a material’s properties — changing the very nature of how a particular material behaves at any given time.

For instance, smart materials will be able to change in real time as...

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Music, Experience and Your Architectural Designs

Can Music Increase Your Potential?

What role does music play in your work as an architect? Do you listen to it while you design? Or do you incorporate it into your architectural designs, for your occupants?

In an article recently published by The Boston Globe, Carolyn Y. Johnson writes about a surgeon who listens to music while he operates. Also, he is conducting various studies to really understand what effect music has on both doctors and patients. In addition to improving the...

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Using Design to Make the “Waiting Room” a Good Thing

What Should People Do When They Wait?

How do you design for the function of waiting? Do your building occupants ever really wait? Typically, they move from one activity to another, but it is equally important to also design for those in-between moments. What happens during those “between” moments can really impact an occupant’s experience; thus, as a designer, you can make what goes on inside a waiting room a great experience.

Take hospitals, for instance....

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Learn to Walk in Your Occupant’s Shoes, Think “Shopping Experience”

When you design an architectural space, are you concerned with how you might push or pull your occupant while they travel through it? What about when they are standing still? Your occupant’s frame of reference serves to balance them — and you, as the architect, can really play upon this factor.

In essence, you are creating a “shopping experience” for your occupant, and this can apply to more that just retail type architecture. Just as shoppers walk quickly, take their...

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Is Design Balance at Play in your Building?

Great architecture exists as a rich conversation between critical parts. I know that is fairly basic — but when you start to consider all of the parts that go into a building it sometimes can become muddled as to which parts are most important and some may be forgotten all together.

Rich Balance for the Visually Impaired Occupant

I recently came across a great model by which to think about architectural design balance. Yes, balance is more that just a visual experience. So, to take...

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Take Note when Experiencing Theater Set Design

Going to the theater is usually an invigorating experience. A good production definitely considers the orchestration of numerous stimuli…all in an effort to feed the senses. Similar to architecture, theater set design must work to create an experience with space, and often such theatrical experiences tap into so much more that just the visual sense.

For this reason, architects can learn a thing or two from good theater set design and performance.

Space Filled with Dynamic...

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Journey of Light, the Underground Building

Experiencing an underground building can be quite different from the usual above-grade architectural building types that often take light for granted.

Underground, light becomes a high commodity.

Light can be sculpted like clay underground — it can be molded, filtered and juxtaposed. Play with light in subterranean buildings can serve to guide, prepare and surprise occupants experiencing the space.

In addition, it is always an interesting experience to exit an underground...

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13 Architectural Design Questions Inspired by Paul Klee

Early on in my architectural education, Paul Klee inspired me when he wrote that “movement underlies the growth and decay of all things.” I think this quote is so true on so many levels — at whatever level of architectural expertise.

I am paraphrasing here but, I can remember this quote coming alive for me as I understood that a point “grows” to become a line just as a column “grows” to become a wall. At its most basic level, this seems to be a...

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Looking Up, What Does Your Building Write in the Sky?

How do you design the peak of your building? That moment when your building meets the sky? When it reaches the sky, what perspective do passer-bys experience? Are they awed? Do they look again? Or are they just upset because they strained their neck for nothing?

Looking Up at Your Design…From the Drawing Board

It might be interesting as an architect to consciously design so approaching occupants look up at a certain moment. Perhaps what you do with the sky becomes equally as important...

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A Recipe for Achieving a Timeless Design

Buildings change through time. Not only do their materials weather, but their intended purpose can become altered by a changing society’s or culture’s needs. So, how do you design a building that is both timely and timeless? This is an age-old question.

It is important to stay on top of the latest trends that affect building design and construction processes, but that is not all that is important.

New advances are taking place in other fields. In the sciences, for...

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