Journal of Design Insight

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

Does Experience Impact How Occupants Perceive Architecture?

Finding One’s Architectural Perspective

Not everyone that experiences your architectural design will perceive it in the exact same manner. This is because of past experiences, that differ from person to person. In fact, according to an article in The Brain periodical, it is stated that people “organize sensory information in a systematic fashion and then match it against [their] own experience and knowledge”. (1) In other words, a person is more inclined to...

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Architecture Beyond the Visual Sense

More than Meets the Eye

Architecture has so much to offer occupants, particularly when designing for all the senses — going beyond the visual.

As explained in the Alan Saunders’ radio show, “Beyond Appearances – Architecture and the Senses”, the general public has come to know many architectural works by way of photography and other similar medias. People think of most architecture predominantly with their visual sense, excluding many of the wonderful...

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How to Design for Vision Using Central and Peripheral Fields

Did you know that vision can be divided into central vision and peripheral vision? Well, according to the book 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, central vision is what you perceive when you look directly at something, while peripheral vision is everything else you perceive in your visual field. (1) In fact, here is what the author Susan Weinschenk has to say:

“Being able to see things out of the corner of your eye is certainly useful, but new research from...
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Making a Positive Difference with Environments for the Aging Occupant

Today’s article targets getting you to think about environment and memory, particularly for the aging population. As you design buildings within which the aging live, do you take time within your design process to think about solutions that will help them with their “aging” brains — thus, assisting them with certain aspects of their lifestyle, like suddden confusion, a missplacing of the keys, or other distracted behaviors?

You have often heard me speak about...

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Honing Lifestyle Architecture for Urban or Country States of Mind

By simply looking at Japan’s subway system in the image above, would you imagine that a person living in this type of city would respond differently to stress as compared to a person living in the countryside? Well, research is indicating that there may just be differences between urban and city dwellers, involving how they handle stress. And furthermore, such differences may be most prominent when considering where a person grew up: whether in an urban or country area. (1)

Thus, when...

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Can Architectural Symbols Help Occupants with Recalling Memory?

In recent lab tests, studies are showing that it is possible to replay memories within a rat’s brain to restore its memory. By using an implant, signals are sent to the hippocampus part of the brain by recording and replaying electrical activity of neurons. (1) Here is a brief excerpt describing this process a bit more:

This implant operates on the same principles as other neural prosthetics, communicating with the nervous system using electrical signals. Instead of sending signals from...
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How the Sense of Touch and Sound in Architecture Impacts Design Intent

Studies are being carried out that suggest that the brain uses vibration (touch) and frequency (sound waves), in a manner that unites these two senses. This means that if a person is good at sensing touch vibrations, then they are also good at hearing sound frequencies — and vice versa. Thus, the senses of touch and sound in architecture are linked, and you as an architect can use this information to make your building designs even better.

I would like to think that architects...

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Can Occupant Travel Speed Determine How They Remember Your Building?

Architects often look at where their occupants travel within their building, what makes them decide to go wherever they are going, and what behaviors they engage in once they arrive. But what actually happens to building occupants as they move through your building? Does the speed at which they move through your building have impact on their experiences while they are there? And upon how those experiences are remembered?

In a recent research article published by Science Daily, it...

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How Eye Tracking Gives Insight to Embedding Design Choice

An interesting finding involving one of the ways in which people decide to take action, can be traced back to how long a person spends looking at each of the choices. As was reported in an article by Scientific American, called Buying Odds Increase for Products That Are Looked at Longer, shoppers within a store that are trying to decide between two items will ultimately choose the item which they looked at longest. By tracking their subject’s eye movements, researchers...

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How a Building System Can Optimize Occupant Brain Power

As you design for your building occupant’s age, should you as a designer get more detailed and perhaps more personalized by understanding and incorporating information about your occupant’s brain age — or brain power, strengths and weaknesses between their networked connections? (1) After all, “age” as we know it today is a relative term, a catchall within which so many occupant characteristics are lumped together. But what if we as designers could...

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