Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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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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Use Nature to Strengthen Your Design Solution

Learning from Nature Anew

Different architects use nature within their designs in different ways. While some gain inspiration from nature to influence a built form, others use nature to fuel the mechanisms within their design solution. Yet still, nature can be used to inform a design in real-time — as architecture gains greater fluidity through interactivity.

Whatever the case, nature is integrated into architectural design in a variety of ways. For instance, I invite you to take a...

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Boost Employee Productivity in Your Office Layout Design

Many people purposely seek out nature in order to experience its beauty and learn from it. Of course, for designers, biomimicry involves the understanding of nature as interpreted into design. But I ask, what are other ways that you can learn from nature to really push the way you think about what your occupants do within your buildings? And how can you use nature to find new ways to promote issues like learning and productivity within an office building and its office layout design...

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Reinventing Buildings with Biomimicry, My Pine Cone

How do you begin to model systems and processes that nature teaches? How do you translate your discoveries and breakthroughs to help in your design process, making you a better designer?

Well, I found a pine cone the other day. It was tiny, well formed, delicate at the tips and solid at the base. Yes, that is and of itself quite beautiful and enough to inspire most creative thinkers in their design efforts. However, we live in a day and age where, with nature, we can delve much...

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Will Biomimicry Buildings Reflect Their Surrounding Geography?

Yes, findings stemming from the worlds of science and technology are painting a new era that we are already beginning.

When cutting-edge paradigm-shifts occur, like new perspectives on nature that make methods like Biomimicry and BioDigital Architecture possible, I still wonder how these, combined with other factors like culture, globalization, personal preferences, lifestyle trends and geographic land characteristics will impact what we, as architectural visionaries,...

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BioDigital Architecture Uses Metaphor to Design Living Systems

As the relation between biomimicry, nanotechnology and new computing software evolves, a key design strategy surfaces — and a key aspect to that design strategy is BioDigital Architecture. In this branch of study and research, designers use different computer processes (algorithmic, for example) to grow architectural living systems. And these “living systems” are derived from, what Dennis Dollens describes as, metaphors of nature.

Designers can learn to...

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Take a Virtual Tour of this LEED Platinum Green Building

Sustainable Systems Working Together as a Whole

Light, water, temperature, air quality and renewable resources typically come to mind when talking about sustainable design, and to see these innovative green building issues tackled in one building project is wonderful.

In this article I am calling particular attention to the LEED Platinum rated Genzyme Center located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Within this building project designed by Behnisch, Behnisch &...

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Mastering Design Innovation to Build Green Skins

Unleashing Necessity and Your Ingenuity

The need to build green skins that are able to harness energy gives architects incentive to find new ways to use and guide emerging technologies. Essentially, it is necessity coupled with ingenuity that can often spark the best design innovation.

As an architect, it will help you to think about building skin and all of its possibilities in totally new and fresh ways. Instead of using building skin to “shield” or...

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