Journal of Design Insight

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

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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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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