Journal of Design Insight

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

The Fluidity of Nature in Architectural Response

ENVIRONMENTS THAT “BREATHE”

Nature is made of a multitude of rhythms, patterns, and cycles, and such relationships drive its dynamic fluidity. One can understand these relationships in nature as the water cycle, nitrogen cycle, and carbon cycles of respiration and photosynthesis. (1) But what do these natural rhythms, patterns, and cycles have to do with environmental design? A lot. You see, as emerging technologies continue to proliferate as they are ubiquitously embedded into...

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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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What Is the Purpose of Achieving Poetics in Design?

A NEW LEVEL OF AWARENESS

As environmental designers, it is important to keep an occupant-centered approach when creating those all-important creative concepts. And to achieve a high level of success with your building, once in-use, it is important to understand what your measure of success actually is for a project. There can be many metrics by which to gauge the success of an architectural design – productivity improvement within an office space, healing quality within a hospital, or...

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How to Get Client Approval for Your Most Innovative Design Ideas

FROM INNOVATIVE IDEA TO TARGETED SOLUTION

As an architect, one of the most beneficial skillsets for you to develop is your ability to create truly innovative designs that your clients love. Over the years, I have heard about the huge challenge architects face as they strive to both innovate their design and “sell” those innovative ideas to their client for approval. Unfortunately, and often, their most innovative ideas get chiseled away because they do not pass the client review....

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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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How to Know When You Find the Right Design Solution

STEP 1: EMERGENCE OF A CONVERGENCE POINT SOLUTION

As you work your way through the all-important design concept phase, how do you assess the quality of your design concept? There are numerous aspects you can base a design concept’s success upon. For instance, how well does your design concept meet the needs and goals of its future building occupants? Or, how well does your concept solve for your client’s needs and requirements? And, how does your design concept add to the...

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How to Design Architectural Interactivity that Emotionally Connects

DESIGN FOR PURPOSEFUL INTERACTION BENEFITS

As interactivity continues to be integrated into designed environments, it is important to explore how such interactivity can emerge into forming the behavioral character of a design. With each interaction between design element and building occupant, interactive architectural environments form impressions in the memory of their occupants. Yet, the question remains: Is the interactive character emitting from an environmental design purposeful and...

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Design Proximity and Timing to Help Avoid Sensory Side-Effects

DESIGN SOLUTION: PROXIMITY

Have you ever formulated a solution for a design problem, and then discovered that your solution created other new problems? For example, within museums exhibits are often placed near small micro theaters that play films all day. And while it is great to have this type of multi-media film experience, the film’s soundtrack creates noise that can actually interfere with other nearby exhibits. In this case, proximity of a design solution matters.

DESIGN SOLUTION:...

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How Holograms Will Fuse, Augment, and Extend Real-World Environments

PROMISE OF THE HOLOGRAM

As technology continues to advance, it is important for designers to consider (and guide) how such technologies will affect and be injected into environments. This is particularly true for the long-promised technology which is now gaining ground in its development – the hologram. It has been reported that at Brigham Young University an “Optical Trap Display” is making it possible to project an object in real 3D space. (1) This can occur as a...

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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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