Journal of Design Insight

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

Schematic Design – Using an Occupant-Centered Design Approach

INTRODUCTION: THE DEFINITION

Schematic design is the first stage of an architectural design project, and within this phase there are important milestones to get right that will greatly leverage the project’s results throughout the rest of its impending design phases. For example, by iteratively designing through various schematic prototypes, it becomes possible to optimize one’s design concept idea in a way that prevents future errors and expands the discovery of new design...

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How to Create Life-Changing Architecture

INTERACTION: A CRITICAL COMPONENT

The following quote from my book, Adaptive Sensory Environments, stands as a simple yet profound call for environmental designers to look deeply into the function, beauty, and meaning in their works. As technologies continue to advance at rapid rates,interaction with it through environments is increasingly becoming an overlooked part of everyday life.

The quote I am referring to is as follows:

“[A] successful adaptive architecture is one where the...

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How Design Fiction Can Help Your Design Iteration Process

FREEING YOUR DESIGN MIND

As an environmental designer, it is important to make smart design decisions during your creative process – at all stages. This is where the practice of design fiction can be injected into your process, to help you formulate not just one design solution that you iterate; but a variety of possible solutions that you can compare, test, or explore quickly at the beginning of your concept formulation process. Design fiction allows you as a designer to ask better...

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How "Unbuildable" Design Concepts Can Advance Architecture

DISCOVER NEW INNOVATIVE POSSIBILITIES

When designing, it is important to consistently strive to push your body of work, so your next project is better than the last. Ideally, as you progress from design project to project, you are learning new insights and techniques that feed into future projects. But what about design projects that are conceptual, and “unbuildable”? Have you ever worked on a conceptual environmental design where the goal was not to build, but discover new...

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How to Learn from the Future to Become a Design Pioneer

BECOME AWARE OF HOW YOU DESIGN WITH TRENDS

As is typical with the present-time, we are always in the midst of emerging trends. For designers, this means either following the trends or setting new ones by being well ahead of the curve. Environmental design is no different. As advancing technologies like virtual reality lead to augmented realty, or as interactive physical space leads to adaptive physical space, it becomes fascinating (and necessary) to question where these technological...

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How Virtual Reality Design Shapes the Physical Environment

THE VIRTUAL “PLAYGROUND”

Architectural design in virtual reality takes on many forms: from environmental concept design in films and video games to concept development simulations during the architectural design process. It is fascinating to see how what can be made for the virtual will often find its way into the physical world. For many, the virtual becomes a “playground” for experimentation, exploration, and discovery of new ideas that get translated into the...

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Top 3 Questions to Drive Extraordinary Concept Design

The phase during your architectural project when you have the most leverage is during your concept design phase. Ideas, design decisions, and iterative changes made at this stage take less effort, cost, and time. But there is a critical driver behind the concept design phase, and it is your “creative vision”.

Creative vision fuels your architectural design from its concept phase through to its post-construction phase. If properly conceived, your creative vision for a
project helps...

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Use the “Gradation Method” to Design Architecture for True Happiness

BEYOND “ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL”

When designing environments, do you adhere to a “one-size-fits-all” approach? Or do you try to personalize your environments for individual building occupants? Many designers use technology to help with the personalization of a design; yet, there is also another approach to consider that, when coupled with technology, can strengthen your design even further. This approach is what I call the “Gradation Method”.

In the TED talk...

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Find Your Uniqueness as an Architect and Gain a Competitive Advantage

THE FIRST STEP: AWARENESS & CONTRIBUTION

When designing, do you strive to design projects that look and function like other projects already built? Or do you strive to create a unique and original contribution to the discipline of architecture? If you concentrate on the latter, then you are a step ahead toward finding and leveraging your own uniqueness as an architect – and this uniqueness can give you a significant competitive advantage to help set you apart from your competition.

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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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