Journal of Design Insight

Behind the scenes into the studio works of Maria Lorena Lehman.
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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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Breaking the Mold to Unleash an Innovative Building Design

Why is it that truly innovative building design is practiced few and far between? Yes, many architects spend their energy building buildings, but few built architecture that uses the design of build environments to uplift lifestyle for their occupants. So, how can you as an architect push your buildings ahead, to break the mold and go beyond the status quo?

Do you find that you are at times stuck in a rut — using the same building materials, building after building, simply...

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Does the Demolition of Building Spaces Come With a Cost? (Video)

What happens when a building is both futuristic and visionary in its own time, but has its life cut short when it is demolished? Is the cost of maintaining such a building so great that it has to be destroyed? This is the topic of a new documentary called A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome.

The following is a trailer for this 30 minute documentary, which I think poses some interesting questions for us to consider when taking part in the ...

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On Finding an Interesting Use for an Underground Building

In an underground building, what if the boundary to celebrate is as much the vertical one as it is the horizontal one? You may celebrate its “below-ness” by making connection with what is above your site’s grade in a not-so-typical way.

With a “sensing” design mindset, you can bridge the two worlds with much more than a dramatic entrance into or exit from the natural light. For example, you can use new lighting technologies.

In the image above, you can...

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Can a Building Impact Lifestyle Design?

I often use the term “lifestyle design” when thinking about the design of architecture. By this, I mean that architecture holds within it a great power to uplift the way humans live their daily lives — and it is “lifestyle” which is directly connected to human health, happiness and spirit.

Although many factors must be considered, architecture is ultimately for the occupant. And it is up to the architect to provide real and meaningful value for them.

...

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Can Modular Design Increase Your Building’s Potential?

I am intrigued by this quote about modular design:

“A downside to modularity (and this depends on the extent of modularity) is that modular systems are not optimized for performance. This is usually due to the cost of putting up interfaces between modules.”(Wikipedia source here)

At first glance, modularity can give you ways to expand, re-locate or even provide for more mass customization opportunities within your work. And in some cases, modules can have such distinct...

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How to Use a Cliché to Make Your Building Design Work

I recently read an article by Seth Godin who describes a very powerful writing technique where an author takes a popular and widely used cliché, points it out in his or her work and then writes about its exact opposite. When done cleverly this can produce a very powerful result whether an author is trying to stir humor, thought, emotion or even trying to change a reader’s belief or behavior.

As architects, we should take a cue from this author’s...

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Can Flexible Design Get You to the Cutting-Edge?

What can flexibility do for you?

Let’s exaggerate for a moment and see if we can make what is flexible, even more flexible. The goal is to get you to push some design boundaries and of course, to use the idea of “flexible design” to get your architecture to that “cutting-edge”.

Of course, there is a find line between extreme flexibility and that ultimate point where something just breaks. But for now, let’s take a look at the following list which...

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