Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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How to Use Architectural Geometry to Invoke a Sense of Awe (Slideshow)

A beautiful and often inspiring aspect of architectural design is its ability to connect with people on a deeper level, to inspire awe at just the right moment so that occupants can transcend the physical spatial elements by taking them on a more spiritual journey. For this reason, I always find it a good practice to ask what it is about architecture that can touch people in this way. How does it work? And why does it work?

Architectural scale, balance, color, and yes, geometry are all...

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Using Color Design to “Move” Your Occupant (Slideshow)

How do you use color to “move” your occupant? Do you go beyond merely using it as a wayfinding technique? Or do you “paint” your three-dimensional space to lead your occupant on a journey that enhances the spirit of place?

As you will find within the following slideshow, color can be used within architecture in soul-stirring and innovative ways. Color not only engages a building occupant by making real the beauty of function, but also invites them “in”...

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How Do You Inject Light into Your Building Designs? (Slideshow)

Light has many faces, and many forms. As an architect, you can “paint” with light, “sculpt” with light and guide your occupant to “touch” it.

The following slideshow takes a look at how light can “set off” built form, and how built form can “set off” light. When the two fuse poetically, they can showcase your materials, an experiential path or even “warm” an otherwise “cold” space.

So, the real...

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10 Ways to Design Architecture that Defies Gravity (Slideshow)

Architects are constantly defying gravity. We built into and with the sky, and the way in which we engage it says a lot about our work. Building upward involves more than just getting your occupants to look up.

The following is a 10 image slideshow presented with hopes to inspire you to think about the sky creatively. These captured moments, ranging in complexity, illustrate just how delicate the balance is between our built forms and the sky which surrounds us.

Here are ten ways to built...

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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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How Contemplative Spaces in Architecture Deepen Connection

Giving Occupants Room to Breathe

Within an architectural design narrative, it is wise to give occupants room to breathe — to absorb what they have experienced and to prepare for what is to come. If it is all “surprise, surprise, surprise”, a design can lose impact potential by not allowing occupants to process what those “surprises” mean to them for their needs, goals, and ultimate fulfillment. As you will learn later in this article, architecture that...

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How to Deepen the Sense of Place Your Designs Create

Strengthening the Relationship between Occupant and Environment

An architecturally designed environment, when newly built, stands ready to welcome occupants inside – to utilize its environments from which they can extract function, beauty and meaning. But have you considered that your occupant will actually develop a relationship with your designed architecture over time? And that this relationship will deepen with each occupant visit to the environment you create?

In some ways,...

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How Architecture Experience and Meaning Uplift Your Design Quality

Why Architecture Experience and Meaning Matter

When one extracts meaning from experience, value is given through a lesson learned, a memory formed, or even a new idea created. And since environments are catalysts for experience, it is wise for designers to give attention to what meaning is both conveyed and interpreted.

Architecture experience and meaning go hand-in-hand. Experience often leads to meaning, and meaning gives value to experience. So, what role does architecture play in all of...

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How Emotion Impacts the Perception of Architecture

The Link Between Emotion and “Sense of Place”

Architecture can trigger emotion. Just look at how designed memorials can trigger emotions like pride, sadness, or gratitude. Similarly, other building types can yield surprise or can even mellow one’s mood. It all becomes a matter of how a particular place is designed — to trigger for an emotional response in its occupants.

Emotion in architecture can often be linked to how well an architecture exudes a “sense of...

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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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