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Journal of Design Insight

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

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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Buildings that Cause Occupants to Feel Fear — Part 3

This article is the third article in a three part series. To read the first and second article in the series, please click on the links below:

THE MANY TYPES OF FEAR

There are so many places where just approaching a building can cause fear, simply because of the institution type. Take hospitals, for instance....

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Keeping Your Occupants Safe by Building Community — Part 2

This article is the second article in a three part series. To read the first article in the series, please click on the link below:

SAFETY INSIDE AND OUT

In my previous article entitled Designing Architecture for a Sense of Safety — Part 1, I explained why the “context” surrounding your building is so important. This led to my discussing “The Big Question” that cuts...

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Designing Architecture for a Sense of Building Safety — Part 1

IT’S WHAT YOU WANT

Everyone wants a safe(r) place to live, to work and to do everything in between. I’m sure you’re no different.

So how does architecture contribute to safety? And what is its connection with a person’s sense of safety? What role does architectural design play?

Safety is a really important part of what architecture can do. In buildings, your occupant should feel not only healthy and comfortable, but also safe.

That’s why I’m writing...

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Bridging Architecture with Nature for Occupants to Thrive

The Different Benefits Nature Brings

Nature presents an ever-changing array of patterns that bring beauty, delight, and renewal. Nature is an amazing force, and what it brings to buildings and their occupants differs from location to location. People respond differently to the natural elements like sunshine, rain, or wind. For example, some people just love a sunny afternoon, while there are others that really love a gentle rain. For this reason, architecture that blocks such experiences may...

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Top 10 Ways Architecture and Nature Can Harmonize

While built form is designed to protect occupants from the forces of nature, it is also designed to harmonize and connect occupants with nature anew. For this reason, it is important to more deeply explore the connection between architecture and nature – to better understand what other opportunities reside between these two extremes.

When considering whether it is possible to design for protection from and connection with nature simultaneously, one needs to see nature, in all its...

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How to Innovate with Nature in Design to Create Amazing Experiences

Presenting Nature Like Never Before

The relationship between built form and nature is a varied one. In certain designs, the architecture simply engages with nature, while other environments harmonize with nature. Then, there are those designers who are inspired by nature, as they pull from the depths of its many design lessons to incorporate them into their projects. And ultimately, there are those designs that actually innovate experience by presenting nature in a way never experienced...

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