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Journal of Design Insight

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

When Architectural Objects are “Food” For the Designer’s Creative Mind

Architectural environments can be a type of extension of oneself. Thus, by understanding the clues that we leave behind in our environments, we can actually gain a better understanding of ourselves. And such clues are everywhere within the spaces where we spend our time.

Such clues are architectural objects — which are everything from the type of furniture we have to the type of books we read and store in our bookshelves. Such architectural objects collectively say a...

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How Commercial Building Plans Help Refine Your Building Design Vision

Commercial building plans evolve over time as you travel through the different stages of creating your building, from schematic all the way through to your construction document set. As your original architectural design concept materializes in the beginning, you soon begin to anchor in those building design ideas that need to be finessed and built upon as your design process moves forward.

But I have some questions for you today…

Do you still continue to design with the same...

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Boost Creativity for an Innovative Design By Asking “What If” (Video)

So much of our time as architects is spent thinking and designing for projects that live on land, but what about architecture that lives on water? What if you had to design a human dwelling that is not only near the water, but actually in it?

Change a Major Variable…Like the Site

One would think that if you are an architect solely designing for buildings on land it would be a waste of time to think about what it would take to design them on water. But have you considered that by...

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When In the Design Process Do You Have Leverage Over Cost and Quality?

Over the decades, architectural design methods have been intrinsically linked with new tools that architects use to turn their visions into realities. New tools like virtual computer visualization techniques and remote computing while on a construction site allow architects and designers to have a new way of not only “drawing/modeling” how a building should be assembled, but also to innovate new building materials and construction methods.

But using these tools to their fullest...

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Get Rid of the Weak Links in Your Design Process

Different architects and architectural teams work in different ways. Their design processes vary not only within their own artistic styles but also with each project type that they embark upon.

So how you do you decide which design process is the best one for you? Are you wasting valuable time and money by working with the wrong or not quite right architectural design process? Should a design process be specified by each designer or be carried throughout your entire firm? Or should...

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Communication Is the Oil in Your Architectural Design System

Communication is fundamental in getting your design vision executed correctly. You communicate with a multitude of people as an architect: first and foremost with yourself, then with your team, with your client and ultimately with your occupants. And all of this makes up your design system.

At different points in a project you can use communication to leverage different things. Early on, communication can be a great leveraging tool to get your design optimized both aesthetically and...

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Transition Is As Important As the Grand Gesture Within Your Design

There is a principle when it comes to systems optimization which says that if one part of the system is broken, you should look at the part just before it — because it is likely that that is where the problem really originates from. And to me, this principle can be carried through into architecture as you begin to look at how an occupant travels through built forms, from space to space, or from room to room. I think of course that the design of the grand featured and climactic gesture...

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Use Boundary As a Bridge Which Connects and Communicates

Boundary within building design involves factors like layering, filtering, and opening or closing. It is a way for you as an architect to communicate to your occupants about where they were, where they are, and where they are going. While boundaries do define, they also reveal — by allowing different entities or spaces to communicate with each other through your buildings occupants’ perceptions. The way your boundary is handled during building design will likely determine how your...

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Refine Variations to Get to the Core Essence of Your Building Design

Variation in building design can contribute a lot toward achieving a harmonic design balance. Unified designs often celebrate differences as much as they celebrate sameness, and it is the interaction between the two that may yield a simple complexity. Be aware that your variation does not turn into complication — but instead celebrates needed and essential differences that contribute to the strength of your building design works. Additionally, variation gives way to hierarchy and...

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Communicate Meaning By Designing Material Textures

When your occupant touches a material within your building they are immediately given more information to compile into their mental image about your space. And this perception, influenced by their haptic senses, contributes to how successful their experience is within your building. Given this, I invite you to design texture in such a way that complements and deepens the meaning which your architecture aims to convey. For example, would a coarse and heavily textured wall signal an occupant to...

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