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Journal of Design Insight

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

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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Learning from Apple: Can Architecture Brand Thinking Help Your Design?

The first thing I think of when I think of an architecture brand is “experience” — that is, when sensory design elements come together to yield a place’s personality. And this “personality” can go a long way toward helping a place to achieve its goal. For example, a well branded architectural retail store can help to make more sales. And this is because the architectural experience contributes toward the retail store’s culture, product line,...

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When Flexible Design Calls for More than Modularity

Different needs surface that often require for a flexible design. Just think of how a home might need to grow or shrink (as the family does), or how a business may grow and change (as will its office building). Also, even within a school classroom, functions change multiple times a day.

Modularity is one way to deal with and accommodate flexible design, but an additional way is through adaptable design. This can include aspects like smart materials, interactive surfaces, or...

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How Patterns In Design Can Make For Better Spaces

Patterns in design are important when it comes to architecture. In fact, they can help an architecture to meet many needs at once because patterns speak multiple “languages”. Patterns in design can be used to solve complex problems as well as to form new boundaries. (1) In the book, The Architecture of Patterns, the author says this:

“When the same pattern that generates a building’s visual, formal, or spatial sensibility […] concurrently serves as an effective...
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