Journal of Design Insight

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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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Using New Mediums to Shift Architectural Paradigms

CAPTURING THE POETICS OF SPACE

As an environmental designer, it is important to bridge between the worlds of theory and practice. Each pushes the other to deepen, by expanding boundaries and making new connections. Yet, there is an in-between mode where theory and practice fuse. This moment of fusion is of particular interest to me, and is where my design approach focuses.

As I work in this in-between with different artistic mediums to explore and capture the poetics of space, the years of...

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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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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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Do You Design Architecture "Beyond the Box"?

TRANSLATING DRIVERS THROUGH YOUR DESIGN PROCESS

As an environmental designer, how do you keep your creative edge sharp? In other words, what do you do to keep your design process fresh and innovative as it pulls from your experience, research, and skillset? When doing this as an architect, your creativity will be ever-expanding and your ability to think “beyond the box” will grow evermore genius.

Developing the ability to evolve your design process is critical not only to your...

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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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Structure of Gravity: The Rise of Architecture

Structure of Gravity | © Image Credit: Maria Lorena Lehman | MLL Design Lab, LLC

DESIGN INSIGHT

The above close-up section of a recent environmental drawing I created explores what I call the structure of gravity. This paradoxical term speaks to the bridging of architecture between the earth and sky – as built form rises upward as if to collaborate with the science of gravity through the structure of design expression. This piece invites one to consider the behavioral...

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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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Design at the Edge of Architectural Perception

DESIGN AT THE EDGE

Uplifting quality of life for occupants is often the primary aim of designing environments for human perception. Such places exude heightened experiential qualities including orientation, sense of place, and designing for the classical senses to create environments that help occupants to thrive. But what happens when designing for human perception leads to a more surreal experience? What happens when an environment is purposefully designed to bring occupants to the...

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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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