Journal of Design Insight

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

Achieve Better Home and Hospital Design by Focusing on Occupant Sleep

When it comes to architectural design, most emphasis is placed on what happens within buildings while occupants are awake, active and being productive as they engage in their wide range of daily human behaviors. But as an architect, you must step back and ask yourself what makes all of this activity and behavior possible for your occupants? What helps them to maintain their proper amount of focus and energy while also being creative and productive as they engage in their daily activities...

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Your Building Design Can Trigger Profound Occupant Emotional Memory

There is very interesting research going on right now which is indicating that there could be neural connections in the brain “between the senses (hence, sensorial stimuli) and intense memories”. (1)

Instinctively, do you know such connections exist? Have you ever listened to a song and instantly been transported back to a certain time and place in your memory that this song seems to be unexplainably linked to? Or have you ever walked into a room that has a certain smell...

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How the Sense of Touch Can Drive Occupant Decision-Making

In a recent Boston Globe article entitled Researchers Say Sense of Touch Guides Impressions, it was found that the sense of touch really is an important factor when it comes to perception. As you may already infer, we all seem to use an initial impression of something to form a judgment — which, when needed, helps us make a decision. (1) But what factors do we all rely on when we are in the midst of making that decision, and forming a judgment?

Not surprisingly, this is...

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Adaptation and Environment: When Architecture Shapes Us Through Sound

When taking a closer look at the relationship between music and the theater in which it is played, the composer becomes a pivotal link between the two that provides some intriguing insight into ways that architecture shapes its occupants.

As architects, we like to think that we shape architecture — but as most of us know it also shapes us. The relationship between adaptation and environment often works both ways, and for this reason, I encourage you to watch the following...

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The Power of Scent for Architectural Design

I came across an interesting article recently entitled Scent as Design. In it, the author discusses topics that were brought up during a recent symposium that was held to promote thought on the implications of using scent in design. To no surprise, it was shared that within today’s “modern lifestyle” we typically tend to “cover up” and “clean up” scent — without tapping into the vast potential which it holds. It seems that many of...

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The Architecture Experience You Design Can Erase a Memory

The notion of having dispositions, or records, that your brain keeps as it experiences architecture is quite an interesting thought. If every time your occupant has an architecture experience that can later be rewritten, then your role as an architect is to design for more than a real-time experience. You must also design for your occupants by incorporating what your architecture will say to them — what they will store in their memory, and how that memory will influence...

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Neuroscience Will Enhance Your Design Vision

Will Your Design Vision Work?

So often, as a designer, you must think about how your design vision will impact your occupants — planning for a not-to-distant future where your vision will be realized and used. For this, you may rely heavily on your own experience of what you think works and what does not, and you may probe into your occupant’s life to understand their likes, dislikes and so on.

Still, there is so much left to simply “hoping” you made the...

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Why Differences in Spatial Reasoning can Impact Your Project

Can Desire Influence What You and Your Occupant See?

This interesting experiment might just give you, as an architect, some understanding of how you and your occupants perceive “distance” — and why this aspect of spatial reasoning might vary from person to person; thus, influencing how people perceive your built work:

Here is a Sneak Peak at What the Experiment Revealed

In an interesting experiment, researchers engaged in a series of investigations to see if they...

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Find Design Opportunity in Group Behavior

Right-handers Influence Group Behavior Simply By Choosing a Seat

When designing audience seating within theaters or auditoriums, have you ever given specific thought to which seats will be used the most, and by whom? At first, it may seem strange to ponder such details when most of what you will need to do involves selecting the style of seats, specifying how many total seats you will need, designating which ones will be accessible, planning how they will meet egress requirements and making...

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Have You Timed the Spacing of Your Architectural Features?

Fine Tune How Your Design Communicates

Have you ever thought about the speed of human thought and how that might relate to your architectural design?

Timing is everything. Both in the brain and throughout your architectural features, timing plays a critical role between the stimuli that your building puts out and the stimuli that your occupant’s brain receives. Why is this important?

Well, as an architect, you are the one who designs what those occupants engage with as they travel...

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