Journal of Design Insight

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

Design Effectiveness: Three Keys to Extend Building Lifespan

Does your architectural design’s effectiveness deteriorate over time? Or does it improve? In other words, does your design solution stand the test of time by remaining meaningful and purposeful for occupants? Or is your solution short-lived – only solving for a short-term need, but not solving for longer-term goals?

In order to extend the lifespan of your building, it is important to design your architectural solution so that it can improve over time. Of course, there are several...

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How to Create Innovative Architectural Design Concepts

Position Your Work Innovatively

It is important to pull optimally from latest findings in other fields in order to position your architectural design concepts innovatively. You see, architecture benefits from findings in fields like neuroscience, nanotechnology, biomimicry, and beyond. After all, neuroscience will help you to design more attuned architecture as you gain greater understanding into how occupants think, behave, and feel. Biomimicry will help you to pull from the genius of nature...

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Can a House Design Prepare Its Occupants for the Day Ahead

Lessening the Resistance of Habit Formation

House design can do more than simply be a passive player in its occupant’s life. Yes, homes can do more. They can serve to proactively foster, support, and propel growth in their occupants. For example, have you ever considered how a house design could be orchestrated to prepare its occupants for the day ahead? This means that the home would not simply sit idly by waiting to be used. Instead, it would be designed so that its feature...

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How to Create Architectural Design Solutions that Matter

There are times when designers are lured by the process of creating a solution without giving much preliminary thought to whether the solution is really and critically needed. This is equivalent to spending a lot of time and effort following the wrong path, which leads to design solutions with little benefit or positive impact. Thus, it is imperative to really delve into the core problem of your project. By finding and solving for this core problem, you will be designing at the point of...

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Design Better Architecture by Predicting Occupant Need

Today’s article is all about how you can do a better job at predicting occupant need to improve your design — in other words, finding ways to engage your building occupant with what matters to them, when and how they need it most. This often means that you will need to understand your occupants’ “flow” before-hand, to create a truly humane environment where they can thrive by reaching their goals and enjoying their journey toward accomplishing them.

Three...

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How Famous Architecture Becomes So Iconic

Famous architecture can be instantly recognized from anywhere in the world. You can see a photograph of a famous building, and get an instant sense of its larger context like its location’s culture, architect’s style, and timely era. In other words, famous architecture can become iconic. But, why does this happen? Why do some buildings get all the fame, while others sit quietly by, doing their respective “jobs”? And perhaps the more pertinent question becomes...

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Why Architecture Details Yield Architecture Styles

Architecture details come together to yield more than the sum of their parts. Individually, a detail can be observed through sight, touch, or even sound — and it is the architecture detail that can leave a lasting impression on a building occupant. You see, as a building occupant travels through an environment, it is the architecture details that they come into contact with most. They touch the railing. They see the glazing framework. Or they even form a first impression...

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Why Lacking Creative Vision Will Hurt Your Architectural Design

At the outset of your architecture project, you have the most leverage. Changes you make at this point cost less, and testing out variations of your creative vision early on will help to ensure that your building project is the best possible solution for your client and its future building occupants. But that is not all — a well thought out creative vision will also help your building project to survive the various phases of review by client, boards, and committees. Thus,...

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Unused Urban Space Can Benefit from Sensory Installations

The in-between spaces that remain within urban areas often pose many challenges for designers. Such spaces get left to form dangerous alleyways or corners that repel people. Also, such spaces do nothing to support their adjacent buildings — from a sensory design perspective. Urban space that is “left behind” often becomes unused, simply existing as wasted space — in other words, a missed opportunity.

That’s why it is wonderful to see projects like the...

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Design Boundary to Enhance Architectural Experience

The experience of architecture often involves separating the exterior from the interior. Occasionally, the two meet through windows, doors, or other building fenestrations. Such a separation is not always a bad thing — since much can be accomplished through a design which separates the exterior from the interior. For example, the element of surprise or the element of safety can both be achieved by using an architectural skin’s boundary as a separator.

But what happens when an...

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