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Journal of Design Insight

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

Top 3 Questions to Drive Extraordinary Concept Design

The phase during your architectural project when you have the most leverage is during your concept design phase. Ideas, design decisions, and iterative changes made at this stage take less effort, cost, and time. But there is a critical driver behind the concept design phase, and it is your “creative vision”.

Creative vision fuels your architectural design from its concept phase through to its post-construction phase. If properly conceived, your creative vision for a
project helps...

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Use the “Gradation Method” to Design Architecture for True Happiness

BEYOND “ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL”

When designing environments, do you adhere to a “one-size-fits-all” approach? Or do you try to personalize your environments for individual building occupants? Many designers use technology to help with the personalization of a design; yet, there is also another approach to consider that, when coupled with technology, can strengthen your design even further. This approach is what I call the “Gradation Method”.

In the TED talk...

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Find Your Uniqueness as an Architect and Gain a Competitive Advantage

THE FIRST STEP: AWARENESS & CONTRIBUTION

When designing, do you strive to design projects that look and function like other projects already built? Or do you strive to create a unique and original contribution to the discipline of architecture? If you concentrate on the latter, then you are a step ahead toward finding and leveraging your own uniqueness as an architect – and this uniqueness can give you a significant competitive advantage to help set you apart from your competition.

...
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Unlock the Potential of Your Most-Used Design Tool

ANALYZE TOOL IMPACT

When designing, you use many tools to help derive and realize your creative vision. Yet, it is likely that you gravitate toward certain design tools more than others. And you most likely have a “go-to” design tool that you use more than any other. For some architectural designers, this tool may be a 3D visualization tool, a BIM tool, or a drafting tool. For others, it may be the tool one uses to create physical models of their creative concept and vision....

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How to Use Light to Harness Architectural Design Poetics

DESIGN AS A SCIENTIST AND ARTIST

As an architectural designer, how you think about light can make all the difference in your design’s success. For example, do you work with architectural light as more of a scientist or an artist? This distinction can help you to become better at doing both. And when you design environmental light as both a scientist and an artist, your designs will be more fully enjoyed by occupants as they experience the poetics of your built vision.

When you...

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Top 3 Ways Design Becomes a Global Collaboration

SEEING BEYOND THE LOCAL

It is important for architectural designers to each do their best as they work to solve for local and project-specific challenges, and reach their own vision and goals for a given project. But it is also important for architects to take a more global approach to design – where each project becomes a piece of a larger, more global, puzzle system. Yes, a design project can do its part to solve for local challenges, and can even do its part to create new local...

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Schematic Design – Using an Occupant-Centered Design Approach

INTRODUCTION: THE DEFINITION

Schematic design is the first stage of an architectural design project, and within this phase there are important milestones to get right that will greatly leverage the project’s results throughout the rest of its impending design phases. For example, by iteratively designing through various schematic prototypes, it becomes possible to optimize one’s design concept idea in a way that prevents future errors and expands the discovery of new design...

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Nautilus Book Award Winner: Adaptive Sensory Environments by Maria Lorena Lehman

NAUTILUS BOOK AWARD WINNER

I am delighted to share the wonderful news that my book, Adaptive Sensory Environments, just won as 2017 Nautilus Book Award Silver Medal Winner in the “Creative Process” category.

This is very exciting news, and I am honored that Adaptive Sensory Environments is now forever aligned with the Nautilus Book Award and its mission to help make the world a better place.

ABOUT THE NAUTILUS BOOK AWARD

The Nautilus Book Awards ...

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Know When Your Project is Complete: From Satisfaction to Fulfillment

A SURPRISING QUESTION

I was surprised by the number one question architects asked me during a recent survey I conducted. They wanted to know “Should I ever be completely satisfied with my architectural design project? And how do I know when to be satisfied with it?” These are both very good questions, and they each led me to think even more deeply about my own creative design process. The following is how I think about design project completion and satisfaction.

TWO...

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Urban Architecture – A Design Process of Co-Creation

INTRODUCTION – ADAPTIVE URBAN ARCHITECTURE

Urban design within cities around the world has impact upon the citizens they serve. As environmental designers, it is important to continuously evolve how cities beneficially influence citizens as they live their daily lives within these urban areas. A critical way by which to accomplish this is to design urban architecture within such cities so they cooperate and collaborate together to yield a relationship of co-creation with their...

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