Journal of Design Insight

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

The Value of User Control within Smart Spaces

User Control Can Be Nuanced

Frequently, there are benches and chairs located in public spaces like parks, plazas, and restaurants. And often these chairs are bolted to the ground to prevent users from rearranging or stealing them. When a user sits in one of these chairs, they must adapt to the conditions set by the chair. This chair is constrained, in that it cannot be moved. Yet, when similar other chairs are not bolted to the ground and can be moved, just about every user actually moves...

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Why Smart Home Control Points Are Good

The smart home will be able to do a lot by way of automated systems that assist, guide, and educate building occupants. But what happens when such guidance is wrong? How will the smart home know it needs to correct itself? As such, adaptive architecture needs to allow for occupant override — so occupants can choose their own preferences, or can cancel an action.

The beauty of adaptive architecture is that it does have a predictive element, where architectural...

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How Home Architecture Can Help Seniors Live Healthier

Sensor technologies that work within a home can be integrated to find patterns in the routines of daily living for the elderly. Such sensing technologies would send an alert if they notice an interruption in patterns — thus, helping to keep seniors on their goal toward healthy living. (1)

I suppose the main idea behind this use of sensing technology is to make the sensing network seamlessly fade into the background of household living. Without having to push an alert button, make an...

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How Future Smart Highways Can Positively Influence Architecture

The designs for highways of the future are emerging, and it is interesting to see how designers are solving for some old problems while still meeting the new needs that present themselves with car innovations. Studio Roosegaarde, for example, has created a concept for the future of highways where there will be “glow-in-the-dark roads, asphalt paint that transforms in response to road conditions, and lanes that double as electric car chargers”. (1) Needless to say, such roads may...

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How Internet Connections Can Boost Smart Buildings

We live in the age of the digital revolution. The internet seems to be everywhere — and as buildings get smarter, this will be ever more common. You see, the internet provides the ability to push and pull information, and this information can serve to connect you with your architectural spaces in new ways.

The internet connects. It connects people with people, and it can connect people with objects. For example the internet can pull information into your architectural design — it...

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The Role of Prediction in Smart Environments

As an architect, you often have to predict occupant needs — to design built space that meets those needs with sophisticated and seamless solutions. But, what happens when an architecture is more interactive, and a need arises during an interaction sequence? Can architecture respond to a change in occupant need that happens in real-time?

In essence, there are two types of core reactions — those that stem from predicted events and those that were not predicted at all, but instead...

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How Architecture Can Respond to Emergencies

With the advent of the smart building comes a new innovation like smart carpeting. And what does a smart carpet do? Well, according to Popular Science, it “detects your gait, and knows if you’ve fallen”. (1) Such smart flooring can be quite an advantage for those that may be living alone or healing in a hospital. You see, there are times when people may need help – like if they have fallen and can’t get up. And this is where the smart environment comes into play,...

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Top 7 Reasons Why Architecture Should Pull Information from Objects

As technology becomes smaller and evermore mobile, sensors are being embedded everywhere. This means that those objects which you use every day will be able to convey data about the way they are used. Consequently, with such information coming from a multitude of objects found within the environment — a smart building can use its systems to detect patterns and form inferential decisions that impact the building’s behavior with which to engage occupants.

So the questions...

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Can Occupant Skin Push Information to Optimize Building Performance?

Until now, I’ve written much about how clothing worn by occupants can act as sensors which collect data about their activities and functions in real time. Such data can be transmitted through to the building to further optimize its own operations and to bring greater value to its occupants.

But I am beginning to see now that the sensing of occupant activities and functions can go well beyond clothing. You see, in the future, skin will be “upgraded”: embedded with sensors,...

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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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