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Journal of Design Insight

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

Visualizing Occupant Behavior during Your Architecture Design Process

Throughout your architectural design process it is often the case that you need different tools at different points in time as you design. While some tools help you to visualize what goes on during your personalized architecture process, others help you to visualize what will go on within your final building design. So, what happens when these two worlds start to merge? Will your design visualizations be as immersive as the actual methods you use to communicate your designs to clients...

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Using New Computer Technologies to Refine Your Design Work

When designing, do you begin with a preconceived idea of what your final design will look and feel like? Do you gain inspiration and insight from things that surround you, like nature or someone else’s design? Or do you start a design not knowing what your own creative process will give birth to? In other words ——

As you design do you work toward an “end vision” or do you take on a more “experimental” design approach where you test design outcomes? Do...
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Strategy: Consider Your Building Message to Outside Observers

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

While the above photograph isn’t of a building (it is a metro sign), it suggests what may lie ahead for urban architecture. What if your building could communicate with observers in entirely new ways? Your architectural exterior skin could announce or respond to changes in weather, urban events, or even changing trends made available through the internet. Suddenly, your building becomes a beacon — that perhaps behaves differently from day...

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Strategy: During Design Concept Formation Consider Design Alignment

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

When preparing your design concept, do you ever look beyond your site to study nearby design alignments? As the image above shows, architectural design alignment can be visual as the obelisque visually connects with the Eiffel Tower. But you might not simply stop there. What about aural alignments? Are there certain sounds that you wish your architecture could connect to? For instance, in certain towns, church bells and traffic can...

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Strategy: Layer Design Form to Direct Your Occupant’s Attention

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

When you design architecture, are you aware of the visual layers which you create? Now, rarely is a work of architecture viewed in pure elevation in the real world — so studying the three-dimensional layering within your design could result in some amazing effects. For instance, layering often leads to rhythm and/or transparency (depending on design form and placement). And with rhythm and transparency, you can create depth, texture,...

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Strategy: Know What Your Occupants Perceive When They Look Around

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

As you design your architecture, notice not only the common vantage points, where your occupants look straight ahead as they travel through your building, but also vantage points like when they look upward. While occupants don’t often look upward while walking through your building — you may want to reward them for being just curious enough to look in other directions: upward, left, right, and downward. Remember your occupants aren’t...

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Strategy: Understand How to Design With Building Proximity In Mind

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

When you design your architecture, give attention to the way you engage neighboring buildings. Pay attention to the proximity between your building and theirs, and find ways to respond — whether by using contrast, juxtaposition, or paralleling. Also, give attention to the surrounding culture and context where your building will reside. Understand problem areas that neighboring buildings create for the community, for you may try to solve for those...

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Strategy: Have Your Design Answer to Scale

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

When you design architecture, how do you think about scale? Is it something that you simply understand intuitively, where you design for it on the fly? Or do you try to make statements with your architecture about scale? …where you give some serious thought to the behaviors, emotions, and thinking that may go on for an occupant when you provide for spaces of different scales? In the image above, you can see how the scale is enlarged — as...

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Strategy: Use Transparency with Form to Play with Light in New Ways

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

Within most buildings, transparency manifests through typical windows and skylights that occur throughout the building. Yes, they let in light — but are they really a “sculptural” part of the architecture? You might ask: How much do these fenestrations contribute to the interior space for occupant perception and functionality? You see, when transparency becomes part of the architectural form, a few things begin to happen. This mindset...

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Strategy: Give Attention to Transition Between Architectural Elements

Featured Image Takeaway Design Strategy:

The transition that exists between your different architectural elements can really help to guide your occupant’s gaze (visual attention) as they scope out your work. You see, perception is really an act of exploring — and when you guide your occupants to explore within your work, you are in a sense inviting them to experience it more intimately along their journey. So, as you design your different architectural elements, and the way they...

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