Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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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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How Long Is Your Building’s Lifespan?

Once your building design is fully functional, you may begin to wonder if it has a “lifespan”. That is, will your building one day become outdated? Will it cease to help its occupants the way it once did when it was first built? Or will it no longer be perceived as beautiful in the eyes of those that experience it?

You may ask — What will determine your building’s lifespan? Well, there are a multitude of things that can age a building — these include: the way...

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Go Beyond Architectural Signage to Strengthen Your Design

When designing your architectural works, do you give thought to how your occupant will navigate through the spaces that you provide? With this, I mean giving consideration to your project beyond programming and wayfinding — what I’m eluding to here is getting you to reach into the poetics of occupant movement through your building.

In other words, how do you entice your building occupant to turn left or right within your building when they have a choice? Hopefully, you do not rely...

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How Architecture Can Promote Occupant Collaboration

Buildings operate best when their pieces and parts work together as a system — and this includes occupants as being a part of that system as well. You see, in buildings like schools, hospitals and office buildings, occupants must often work together as a team to reach a desired outcome.

In schools, the desired outcome is to learn. In hospitals the desired outcome is for patients to heal with minimal suffering. And in office buildings the desired outcome is often one of productivity and...

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Use Architecture Techniques to “Pre-Experience” Design for the Senses

What do you do when your architectural design tool won’t allow you to test your design for the senses? How do you know that you are creating the best design for your future building occupants? What architecture techniques will you use?

Well, we all know that there is a multitude of modeling software out there to keep you refining your design — to present it not only to yourself, but to reviewers and clients. And with this software, you can come close to modeling...

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How A Transient Building Skin Can Engage Community

Building skin has the power to hide and protect while also serving to display and reveal. And in particular, building skin that is transient takes on the ability to do all of these things. For example, the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen maintains a skin that uses screens which change their display dependent upon time of day and seasons. Such a versatile building skin makes for a building that is more adaptive — able to brighten dark days, and able to further...

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Top 7 Reasons Why Mobile Architecture Can Leave a Positive Mark

The experience of mobile architecture can be quite a powerful thing. Take for instance the BMW Guggenheim Laboratory that was constructed in New York — there, on a rather small lot, this lab was assembled to serve as think-tank and community center. And the beauty of this is that such architecture does a lot to uplift an area.

To explain further as to why this is the case, the following are seven reasons why mobile architecture can be a good thing for a local community:

Top 7...

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Why Architecture Can Make a Positive Difference in an Occupant’s Life

Architecture surrounds occupants, it engages them, and it guides them. A well designed work can make an experience brighter, livelier, happier, and more meaningful. So, why are so many buildings today designed at the status quo, where they are there to meet the bare essentials? Perhaps it is because many architects today do not think in terms of holistic design thinking.

You see, holistic design is a work that considers all of the senses. It is a place where aspects like attention,...

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