Journal of Design Insight

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

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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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 Expand (and Sharpen) Your Design Process

AWAKENING TO YOUR CREATIVITY

When designing architectural environments, how do you notice your creative thinking? Yes, this question asks how you as a designer can observe your design process. Why is this important? When you become truly aware of your creative process, you are able to step outside of it to ask important questions and make critical decisions to improve and optimize how you design. For example, by observing your design process you may ask: What is this design tool helping me to...

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How to Design for Architectural Flow

THE IMPORTANCE OF NARRATIVE

When watching a film, the audience of that movie is experiencing a cinematic “flow”. That is, they are immersed within the real-time narrative of the film as it progresses from scene to scene. The same can be said about architecture, as it flows from feature to feature with transitioning spaces between features. Architectural flow is a higher-level poetic goal to reach as you design environments. After all, there is a significant difference between a...

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The Fluidity of Nature in Architectural Response

ENVIRONMENTS THAT “BREATHE”

Nature is made of a multitude of rhythms, patterns, and cycles, and such relationships drive its dynamic fluidity. One can understand these relationships in nature as the water cycle, nitrogen cycle, and carbon cycles of respiration and photosynthesis. (1) But what do these natural rhythms, patterns, and cycles have to do with environmental design? A lot. You see, as emerging technologies continue to proliferate as they are ubiquitously embedded into...

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How to Leverage the Future of Architectural Concept Design

THE ARCHITECT AS COMPOSER

What will the future of the architectural design process bring? Will you carry forward your trusted design methods while also injecting the opportunities that emerging design technologies bring? As a forward-thinking designer, I invite you to consider what your own future design process could be like, with the continual development of augmented/virtual reality, prediction algorithms, and faster global communication. Such convergence of advancements will help you to...

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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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Multi-Sensory Emergence in the Architectural Creative Process

THE EMERGENCE OF CREATIVITY

The creative process is like a spring. You wind-up the spring to prepare for its release. When creating, I absorb in the world and explore internally (my wind-up), and then I have creative emergence (my release). And as I delve into my creative practice, I alternate between the two.

How do you "absorb" as you prepare to "release" your creativity within your design solution? Emergence works very well, when a designer dives deeply into exploration, testing, and...

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Hand-Drawing vs Digital-Drawing: How to See Your Design More Deeply

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF DRAWING

When analyzing the finished results between a hand-drawing versus a digital-drawing, the stylistic differences are easy to see. Both types of drawings can be very beautiful, if thoughtfully composed. Yet, a designer will think about what they are drawing very differently depending on which drawing process they use. With hand-drawing, the designer often strives to “capture” insight with each line drawn. With digital-drawing, the designer often strives to...

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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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