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Journal of Design Insight

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

How Room Height Influences Your Occupants Behaviorally

Design section drawings are very important because they reveal height immediately. And with height, you as an architect can accomplish some amazing things. In fact, according to Science Daily — “ceiling height can affect how a person thinks feels and acts”. In their article they explain that 10 foot ceiling heights foster occupants that tend to think more freely and abstractly, while 8 foot ceiling heights foster occupants that tend to think in a more detailed way. (1) So...

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Use Color to Guide the Other Senses along an Architectural Journey

Color has the ability to emphasize. And what does this mean for your architectural designs? It means that you can create hierarchy, structure, order and repetition through differences. Color is a means by which you can create needed differences, in order to accentuate, subdue or compose a language. All of your building materials have color, even those that are transparent (as they usually reflect). And because of this, you can design environments that appeal to those visual senses, while also...

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By Fixing Your Weakest Link You Can Boost Your Entire Design Process

When examining your design process, determine your weakest link — that is the area within your design process system that is hindering you from improving your design projects and/or your design business. Understand what is holding you back creatively (often you will find that there is a “weakest link” in your design process which is holding your whole system back. Thus, if you improve this link, your entire design process will benefit. So, whether your weakness is in...

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What to Ask Yourself Before an Architectural Experience

Do you seek out architectural experiences? Go beyond the confines of your office and your project site. Visit meaningful architectural works in the world (whether local to you or a distant trip away). And before you visit, ask yourself the following question – “What do I want to get out of experiencing this particular work?” Answer this question before your trip, and you will make better use of your trip because you will be looking for the creative growth you need at that...

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Strengthen Your Design Process By Going Semi-Public

Get feedback from others that you respect, and I mean more than only your client. Don’t work in a vacuum. By making your work “semi-public” at certain stages (even if “semi-public” means “within your office”), your design will become stronger as you will be able to respond with creative solutions to the different perspectives of what is working or not working within your project. Use the feedback you receive as a way to understand your own design...

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Master a Tool that Will Help You to See More in Your Design

Improve your skillset. Learn how to use a new tool, whether it be a computer-based one, a new physical or virtual modeling technique, or even a tool which can help you to develop a new way of analyzing building design factors like noise, light, wind, temperature and so on. Learning a new skill will help you think differently and communicate differently. And the more versatile you are with communicating design ideas to yourself and others, the stronger your designs will be from inception to...

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Learn to Balance the Art of Efficiency with Experimentation

Build experiments. When choosing a material color or texture for your building – test it. You can run experiments for testing in virtual of physical models, in drawings and diagrams or even through mind maps which can help you organize your thoughts for pro-con lists or systems development, for example. Understand that architectural ideas and visions can be tested, for further development and sophistication. Learn to balance the art of business efficiency with creative design...

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Why Looking Beyond Architecture for Input is Important

Find inspiration from other medias, like books, art or even film. Notice how the narratives flow, how the compositions are harmonized and how different senses are leveraged to convey messages through those mediums. Remember the expression that says “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture?” Different medias and their narratives interrelate (in grand part due to the way we humans perceive through our senses). Take advantage of this as an architect. Use your creative...

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How to Find a Challenging Design Solution When You’re Stuck

When you are working on an aspect of your design where you just don’t seem to be making headway on finding an elegant solution, try shifting to something else for a while — or if it’s the end of the day, simple leave it as what you will tackle first thing the next day. By leaving the design problem, think of it as still “facing you”. So, take a break or sleep on it overnight, and when you return to it the next day — the design problem’s solution will...

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Designing an Urban Space for Safety during Off-Peak Hours

We all have similar urban spaces that we don’t like to hang around. Train stations, bus stations and just outside retail stores after hours. I’m sure when you have to pass through these places, you like to move quickly. And why is this? This is probably because it isn’t so safe.

So, what does this have to do with architectural design?

THE AFTER-HOURS BUILDING “PULSE”

The next time you are involved in a design for these types of places, you really should...

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