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Journal of Design Insight

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

How Poetics of Place Determines Level of Impact

ARCHITECTURE CAN DO MORE

As an architect designing environments, it is important to strive for highest level design poetics. This allows one’s project to engage building occupants more fully. Yes, a building can meet a certain level of function and aesthetic requirements – and this may serve occupants by providing for their basic needs. But how can your architecture do more for occupants? To help them in new ways, and to engage them with an experience that leaves them better off...

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How to Enhance Your Design with a Creative Spark

DESIGN INSIGHT

How often do you capture a "creative spark"? The photograph above depicts a creative spark I had while formulating the concept for my next philosophical-design project. (It is a diagrammatic light study that I am now developing further by using 3D computer visualization techniques.) As you can see, this initial physical model is a quick handmade prototype to help yield proof of concept: built to see if this creative spark has depth for further development. The key when modeling...

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Using New Mediums to Shift Architectural Paradigms

CAPTURING THE POETICS OF SPACE

As an environmental designer, it is important to bridge between the worlds of theory and practice. Each pushes the other to deepen, by expanding boundaries and making new connections. Yet, there is an in-between mode where theory and practice fuse. This moment of fusion is of particular interest to me, and is where my design approach focuses.

As I work in this in-between with different artistic mediums to explore and capture the poetics of space, the years of...

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How to Design for Human Happiness (as defined by Aristotle)

DESIGN FOR HAPPINESS

How can environments be designed to nurture human happiness? How can environments work to help people evolve into the best version of themselves? These are important questions for which to factor as you perceive, use, and/or design environments. Such thinking allows you to push your architectural designs into new realms, that go beyond short-term function – to also incorporate solutions for long term fulfillment.

In the book entitled Aristotle’s Way, the...

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A Filmmaking Tool for Dynamic Architectural Design

THE BRIDGE BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND FILM

The link between architectural design and film is an important one. For instance, designers may think of architectural space as narrative, which is also a way to think about the sequential frames that yield a film. But have you ever thought about using the tools and process that filmmakers use to help you visualize your architectural design during its initial concept development stage?

Specifically, the storyboarding technique is very beneficial to...

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How Counterintuitive Sensory Design Ideas Fuel Innovation

YOUR “TECHNOLOGY FOCUS” DESIGN PHASE

As an architect, it is important to be aware of the potential positive and negative effects of emerging technologies as these become ubiquitously embedded within environments. For this reason, the concept design stage of a project is an ideal phase within which to creatively and strategically harness the positive benefits such technologies bring. For example, have you dedicated time within your design process to innovate the place you are...

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How Architectural Poetics Improves Human Performance

ARCHITECTURE FOR A BETTER WORLD

With the design of each built environment, it is possible to help make the world a better place for individuals, the collective, and the planet. The key is to rise as architectural designers to create poetic architecture, not mere status quo buildings. You see, it is with poetic architecture that environmental design can awaken potential to nurture the self-actualization of those it serves.

Three key architectural effects impact building occupants through...

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How to Analyze Your Sketchbook (to Grow Design Results)

SHIFTING PARADIGMS

Look at your notes, diagrams, and sketches in your journal for the past year. How do these come together to yield your results? To start your analysis, look for patterns. For example, do you write about the same topics over and over again? And is this reflecting in your design work? If you default to the same design paradigm without deepening your insight from project to project, then you likely need to inject a catalyst that will prompt deeper thinking; and thus,...

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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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