Journal of Design Insight

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

How Your Architecture Can Help Occupants to Remember

As an architect, you are in the business of creating “scenes”. And a scene is defined in the dictionary as “a place where an action or event occurs”. But your goal isn’t necessarily to create only one scene, but instead is to create a sequence of scenes in time. You see, with a sequence of scenes, you can guide occupants toward what they are looking for, you can help them navigate as they get oriented, and you can help them remember their experiences within your...

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Why Designing for Occupant Choice is Important in Architectural Design

Within architecture, there are many places where occupant choice surfaces. Every time an occupant makes a decision on where to go, what to focus on, or what to feel — they are interacting with your architecture, and making decisions based off of it. So, why is occupant choice so important?

Choice is everywhere. And for you as an architect, it is your job to distill those choices within your environments for your occupants. By making their choices clear, and meaningful, their experiences...

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Communicating Building Value Early-On May Boost Occupant Enjoyment

A recent study was done, mentioned in The Economist article entitled Pricing and the Brain: Hitting the Spot, where actual changes within the brain occur that substantiate this: If told something is more valuable, then a person actually enjoys it more. As the article explains, there may be something to this involving expectation. So how does this relate to architectural design?

Well, what if upon entering a building, someone told you that it was designed by a very famous and...

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How to Design for Your Occupants Sense of Building Orientation

Buildings often rely upon wayfinding design to give their occupants a sense of building orientation, and to perhaps spark that mental map that tells them where they have been as well as pointing them in the direction of where they need to go. And while wayfinding signage and other directional elements found within buildings can be helpful, I do think that a good architectural design should not be dependent upon such signage. That is, the design should inherently convey to its occupants a...

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Tailoring a Building Design Toward Occupant Emotions (Video)

As architects, we often try to design and think of buildings as vessels which engage with their occupants on many levels — including the emotional ones. And of course, those designs which connect with their occupants on emotional levels, are the designs that often have the most profound effect. Yet frequently, designers use their “instincts” to orchestrate novel and harmonious building design features that will serve to not only inspire, but also to connect with...

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Augmented Reality Give Your Building Materials New Behaviors

Who would have thought that a concrete block could be rendered invisible? Well, with the use of augmented reality technologies, just that has been achieved. By allowing sensing technologies which are capable of face-detection to act as an intermediary, the invisible concrete block system is able to tell exactly where an observer’s line of sight is, in relation to the concrete block. With that information, the system projects images of the surroundings that coincide with that...

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Start a Quality Control Design Test of Your Building After It’s Built

Often in architectural design (and as with any business) there is a wide variety of modeling, testing, and planning to ensure that the final project (or product) will make its way into the real world with great success. As architects, I know that there are a wide variety of things we do to help us visualize our built environments for clients — where we pull from our own internal talents and resources, combine them with the latest know-how and efforts of our design team and consultants,...

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Design User Experience by Immersing Yourself in Your Vision

I wonder if one can say that what you put into your architectural design, your occupants will get out of it? Yet, I do not necessarily think that the amount of time or money spent on a project is linearly reflected in its positive or negative outcome for occupant experience. Yes, it can help…but with the proper design ingenuity and by capitalizing on the right leverage points within your design process, your architectural designs can speak volumes to your occupants no matter how large,...

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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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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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