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Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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Kinetic Architecture Lifting the Human Spirit through Experience

By incorporating motion into architecture, designers give occupants another dimension by which to interact with their surroundings. Architects can not only communicate motion, but can also engage occupants in what it means to have transition and morphing states of architecture. When done properly, kinetic architecture can inspire, surprise and even touch the soul.

Kinetic interaction within architecture can greatly impact one’s experience. A designer embedding kinetics can often provide...

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7 Ways to Re-Think Shape-Shifting Architecture

Today I am pleased to share with you a Dynamic Shapeshifting Helix Bridge which won the recent Design By Many Competition. As you can see from its design in the video below, the bridge actually morphs its shape as occupants walk through it. Being suspended high above the ground, and nestled as a connector between two buildings — I would imagine that this bridge would create quite an experience to walk through.

Here is the video of the bridge so you can take a look. Please note that this...

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Buildings Harmonize with Nature to Expand the Virtual

There are many times when you are asked as an architect to design a building that harmonizes with its surrounding landscape — and as you make your attempt to not only harmonize, but to also integrate nature into your architectural design, you gain better appreciation for the surrounding context, community and even geography that brings forth the diversity of the native species. But now, with tools like augmented and virtual realities that are entering real world design, it is...

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Rethinking the Interactive Wall by Tailoring Sensory Ideas

Often the architecture that you see and use each day acts as a surrounding container with which occupants interact at certain times, and in often very physical ways — whether it be to open a door, open a window, engage in cleaning or maintenance, or even when using building interface devices like light switches, temperature controls or plumbing hardware which can often be found systematically throughout a building. Because of this, occupants often have to travel to predesignated places...

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Why Occupant Need Should Influence Building Interaction Design

Sometimes it might be hard for occupants to really visualize their actions as they execute them. While not all actions need to be visualized, there are some interactions that could very well help occupants if they could better understand them as they occur. So, what in built environments could provide occupants with such insight, so as to give them real-time feedback on the key actions which they take? Could visualizations like these help them to live healthier? Be more productive? Have more...

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Interactive Space that Promotes Cooperative Learning

When we experience space by traveling through it, we interact with it affecting its acoustical behaviors in what can be unintentional ways — but what if an architectural design could make its occupants think more carefully about how they move through built space, where their movements yield more intentional acoustic behaviors? Instead of aural experience always being something that seems to happen in the background (from an occupant’s perceptual point of view), why not...

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Creative Interactive Floor Projection Brings Nature Indoors Anew

I think that as we progress into the future, new technologies should help us reconnect with nature in entirely new ways — rather than as a divide by which we further separate from it. For this reason, I find it quite interesting to have come across an interactive floor projection design which engages people to experience a texture from nature in motion. And that texture closely resembles the rippling effects of water. As people walk on the dry floor where this projection is,...

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Rethinking Fluidity in Architectural Space

The Digital Water Pavilion in Zaragoza, Spain dismissed the notion of using glass for the boundaries which mark the “separation” between the interior and the exterior. To make it even more interesting, this pavilion drops a sheet of water around its perimeter in a curtain-like fashion, but when it senses the movement and approach of a body that wishes to enter — it uses sensors to stop releasing water so as to create a portal through which a person can gain entrance into the...

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Architecture that Learns: The Future of Interactive Design

Sensory devices are being embedded in architecture to create interactive designs. Such ubiquitous computing arrangements will eventually propagate through our homes, offices and other building types. What remains fascinating is the advent when such architectural spaces will use technology to learn from its own experience. Already, robots are being designed to do just that. Let me explain…

In a Scientific American article entitled Can Robots Be Programmed to Learn...

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Architectural Interactivity through Neural Devices

In the magazine Inc., an article by David H. Freedman describes a new neural device that can “read” thought so that users can control video games, computer technologies and “what’s around the house” with their mind. This neural device sits on your head, like a headset, and deciphers brain signals that allow users to open doors or play happy music when feeling blue. Such a device is set to revolutionize interface design on many levels.

The article, entitled...

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