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Journal of Design Insight

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

What Story does a Building Structure tell about a Building’s Journey

Building structure, at face value, is about the framework that holds up the building. But what does a commercial steel building structure reveal about the building perceptually? Does the rhythm of its components add to the excitement of experiencing an architectural work? And when do structural elements that are further detailed (as when a column is uniquely articulated), take on their own behavioral fabric?

Well, there are times when building structure contributes to a magnificent...

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Factoring Crowd Mentality Into Your Building’s Exterior Spaces

Have you ever thought about how crowd mentality factors into architectural design? Well, as you can see in the photo of the Spanish Steps, there is a prime example of crowd mentality, showing what happens when a simple factor like sunlight enters the picture. Do you notice how most of the people are sitting in the shade? And have you ever thought about analyzing your building design and its site in these terms?

The exterior areas of your building design are not just...

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Building Upon Minimal Architecture

There is something to be said about a design when it simply presents the user with only what is needed, when it is needed. Simple design does not mean that it is simplistic, but rather that it has stripped away the extraneous and unnecessary that would only confuse or belittle the power of the true underlying design core. This is often a strength of minimal architecture.

In fact, the image to the right depicts how a simple line can be manipulated to express such vast space and dimension...

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How an Architectural Site Analysis Reveals Design Opportunities

You can work with your building’s surroundings by repressing them, hiding from them, celebrating them, juxtaposing them, making fun of them, uplifting them, supporting them, replacing them, improving them, or even changing them. Look beyond your building’s immediate site, to analyze that which surrounds it. Look at what is permanent and semi-permanent, and at that which is intangible – like the surrounding culture. These issues can inform your architectural site...

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The Importance of Library Today and Into Tomorrow

With the advent of the digital age, numerous writers and even artists have given thought to what the future of the library will bring. Have you, as an architect, given any thought to how the digital era is changing libraries today — where certain functions within the library are seeming to fade away while other functions are becoming magnified as they are central to what will make libraries evermore important in the future?

In a thought-provoking article that I recently read, written by...

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Looking Beyond Building Type for Occupant Behavioral Clues

  

There are times where you, as an architect, can learn a lot about what your occupants will need. But during those times, it is important to question the validity of your information — does what you are learning about occupant behavior follow suit with what you have always believed? Or is there something new that you are noticing that contradicts what you’ve always thought about the way occupants behave? Either way, it’s time for you to start challenging what...

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10 Ways to Use Play in Architecture to Make it Stick

As you design, do you get mostly caught up in the ins and outs of building code, review board and specification requirements and/or limitations? And how do you use these “limitations” as you design?

Do they become issues that hamper and, piece by piece, chisel away at your initial design concept? Or, do you turn these limitations into a “game-like” mentality — where you think to yourself that these are mere guidelines that push you to think more deeply about your...

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How Poor Architectural Details Can Crush Your Building Design

The other night as I was approaching (to enter) a restaurant, a group of people happened to be exiting. And as they were making their way through the main doors, one of them exclaimed (with a lot of passion in her voice), “we had to eat a lot of food to be able to push these doors open” — the doors were just “so heavy“.

As it became my turn to enter, it also became my turn to hold the door and I quickly discovered just how right she was in her observation.

While...

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The Rising Role of the Building System Aimed at Using Social Media

As the World Wide Web and social media encourage more and more digital and virtual social interactions, will the role of the architectural building system have a new place in contributing to or detracting from the way we humans interact with each other? With so so many people now using social media, I think the answer is yes.

In an article I read recently called Is a Social Crash Coming, the notion of a “hyper-connectivity” surfaces along with its ramifications...

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Can Architecture Material Elicit Emotion through It’s Composition?

Now that science is advancing in a way that impacts building innovation from an architecture material standpoint, you as an architect should look to bridge the gap between selecting materials and designing materials to be used in your building designs. After all, this is a great way to increase your design abilities by finding more tailored and bottom-up ways to meet the global push toward more sustainable, healthy and happier designs for your occupants. Needless to...

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