Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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Why a Mental Map is Important for Architects to Understand

As an architect, you probably spend much of your time designing and preparing for programmatic functions and the aesthetic beauty to be experienced by future building occupants. But, did you know that your design ultimately is “interpreted” into what is frequently called the “mind’s eye”? Simply stated, this is a mental map that is said to be responsible for your own personal view-point and how you perceive the world.

The process behind the ...

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Should You Add Sound to Your Building Design?

It’s hard to find a quiet place on earth anymore. Human-caused noise seems to be everywhere, and that’s because it is. (1) Our living environments are “soundscapes”, and “noise” quickly becomes a relative term.

Yes, your architecture greatly contributes to the “soundscape” that people experience. Soundwithin your building is greatly linked with functions going on within it, but what about the design of sounds that you purposefully inject...

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Top 10 Tips to Great Museum Exhibit Design

DESIGNING A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE

When it is a great experience, going to a museum can teach us, delight us and inspire us; however, a lot of effort goes into a museum exhibit design. As architects, we can learn a lot by understanding the ingredients that make such designs so successful. It is not as simple as you might think.

A museum is constantly looking for different ways to attract visitors, but what happens once they get there? Often they suffer from three main problems — they...

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Architectural Psychology Explained

Architectural psychology can be described as a branch of environmental or ecological psychology. This deals with the psychological processes of the interaction between man and his environment, as for example spatial perception, spatial thinking, orientation behaviour, or spatial experience, territorial behaviour, living requirements and satisfaction, local identity. (1)

When an occupant experiences a building, they immediately become involved in an array of overlapping processes that all...

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Can Architecture Arouse Sentiment?

“Architecture arouses sentiments in man. The architecture’s task; therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise.” — Adolf Loos

Architecture is like music, with ability to arouse specific emotions and other reactions at particular moments in time. To arouse sentiment is a delicate task, and the key is to engage occupants. Human mood, behavior and physiology will all benefit from such an awakening.

To arouse precise human sentiments,...

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Sensory Design: Lessons from a Tea Cup

“Architecture is basically a container of something. I hope they will enjoy not so much the teacup, but the tea.”
— Yoshio Taniguchi

This quote highlights why sensory design is indispensable. The act of enjoying the tea is fostered by the teacup just as sensory architecture enhances occupant experience. Both the teacup and sensory design must be sensitive to human needs.

With interactive design, a sensory teacup could integrate user sensory system factors like...

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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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7 Design Tips for Best Architectural Acoustics

Architectural design requires that acoustics be well thought out and coordinated. The sound spectrum must remain clear without portions distorted or missing. The paper, Acoustics and Sound Systems in Architectural Design, emphasizes how acousticians should be part of the design team early on. The author describes how it is important to avoid overlapping sound waves that project into a common space – this interference is what can distort the sound spectrum.(1)

The following are 7...

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Architectural Building for All the Senses: Bringing Space to Life

All too often, architectural designs rely more heavily on just one primary sense – the visual one. The other senses are unfortunately frequently neglected. This is unfortunate since it is through the senses that architecture can have profound effect. For instance, architectural building can more truly relate to the surrounding culture through all of the senses. Addressing historic, traditional or present-day cultural patterns can make a work of architecture a success...

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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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