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Journal of Design Insight

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

Designing for Smell and Memory Is Highly Effective

You walk into a room. You notice a certain aroma. You smell fresh cookies baking in the kitchen. Immediately, you remember your childhood days when your mother brought you fresh chocolate chip cookies.

Ok, this may seem a bit idealistic but smell and memory are linked. The article entitled Smell and Memory explains that of all the human senses, the process of smelling takes the longest to reach the brain, and once you do smell, the smell lasts longer than other senses....

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Tapping into Your Occupant’s Sense of Smell

Smells can make or break a space.

Odor is actually a major reason why people complain about an indoor environment, yet nobody likes to talk about it much when it comes to building design. Smells within a building can either be good, bad or simply neutral. Plus, after being in a space for a longer time, you may actually stop smelling a particular odor which was pungent when you first came in.

So, what’s all the hype about? How can you design for someone’s sense of smell...

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Buildings that Spark a Gut Reaction due to Subliminal Cues

HUMAN LEARNING IS MORE THAN YOU “THINK”

When inside your building, how do occupants actually make choices? They are continuously making decisions, and the orchestration of your design elements has a lot to do with the decisions they make.

To make decisions, your occupant must learn; and to learn, your occupants engage in “conscious reasoning”. (1)

But — did you know that “subconscious learning” also plays a role? Hence, their “gut reaction...

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Human Movement Influences How You Perceive Buildings

MOVING INFLUENCES “SEEING”

As an occupant travels toward, around and through a building, their perception of that building deepens. Each view challenges and adds to the next, as a complex montage comes together to influence that occupant as they perceive architecture.

Human movement is important for you, as an architect, to understand — not just because of how a person’s body might relate to a design, but also because of how that body influences the rest of that...

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Can Architecture Expand the Human Senses?

YES, IT CAN…

As we travel around all different kinds of spaces within cities and buildings, we come to rely on how our senses perceive. But what if our senses could be expanded or enhanced?

The human senses basically collect data from stimuli (like light and sound) and feed it into our brain for assembly and interpretation. But did you know that it is possible to “feel” more so we can develop a heightened awareness to certain things?

We humans get just the five....
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Can Building Design Help Mood?

DISCOVER DESIGN CONNECTIONS

Some buildings are a pleasure to be in, while others feel terrible. So, why do some spaces feel better than others?

Down to the neuro level, building design affects occupants. Research in the neuroscience field is uncovering not just how building design works, but also why, when and where it works. This helps architects to better understand how certain features, like light for instance, might impact occupant physiology,...

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Architectural Design for the Human Eye

WHEN THE HUMAN EYE BLINKS…

Did you know that the second most complex organ in your body after your brain is your eye? (1) The human eye contains many processes all working together to help you perceive visual queues in a continuous way. However, when foreign matter or heightened stimuli (like loud sounds or bright lights) occur, a blinking reflex is activated — and usually when one eye blinks the other follows.

GEOFF MANAUGH ON “BLINKSPOTS”

In a thought-provoking...

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Understanding the Perception of Interior Spaces

Have you ever wondered what effects optical illusion can have on architecture?

Well, there are some simple and specific things designers can do to alter the perception of interior spaces.

OPTICAL ILLUSIONS THAT CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION

Things like color, lighting, interior element placement, integrated (horizontal or vertical) lines and even mirrors can have a huge impact on the size, proportion and mood of a space. I came across the article entitled Interior Design Optical Illusions...

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What is the Role of Human Memory in Architecture?

This is a “loaded” question, but …

The beautiful thing about architecture is that it can “tap into” an occupant’s past meaningful experiences through their senses and their emotion. Architecture also has the power set the stage for occupants to create new meaningful experiences — and memory plays a key role in helping to make all of this possible.

INFLUENCING PERCEPTION AND DECISION-MAKING

Although the role of human memory in...

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What Gets the Most Visual Attention in Your Architecture?

FOCAL POINTS HELP OCCUPANTS MAKE DECISIONS

There are so many details that come together to make a wonderful architectural design; but what gets the most visual attention when someone sees a work of architecture? How does visual attention play into an occupant’s experience? The key is to understand that attention is a gradual process of adaptation where what gets our attention in the first moment may not get our attention moments later. Let me explain…

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