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Journal of Design Insight

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

How to Design Architecture that Helps Occupants Achieve Goals

ENVIRONMENTS AS TEAM PLAYERS

What if architecture’s function was not only to meet a need, but to also help its occupants to achieve a longer-term goal? For example, a person may want to exercise more to increase health, or they may want to create an amazing presentation to win a big project at work. Can environments actually help occupants with such goals? Yes, I believe they can – and the following are a few examples of how this can be possible…

EXAMPLE 1: THE FUN GYM...

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How Multi-Sensory Design Impacts Human Emotion

BEYOND PROGRAMMATIC REQUIREMENTS

When creating an architectural design, are you doing only what is necessary to meet programmatic project requirements? Or do you go above and beyond to ensure that the environment you create is benefiting its occupants at its highest potential? The way in which you answer the latter question will reveal how creative you are with your multi-sensory design efforts, which ultimately determine how great your design is for its occupants’ well-being.

You see,...

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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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Top 3 Ways Your Design Can Reach Its Creative Potential

INFINITE LOOP OF QUESTIONS

When designing, how do you know if your design has reached its potential? Could there perhaps be another better idea or iteration of your design that would take it to that next level? Or has your design reached its highest poetic qualities that yield amazing functional, aesthetic, and meaningful results?

The latter are all very interesting questions – particularly since your final design result is really a manifestation of the creative journey that you...

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Design Environments that Grow with Client Needs and Goals over Time

SPANNING LENGTHS OF TIME

When designing, do you give thought to how your creation will grow with its user? Of course, this means more than simply creating flexible space that allows building occupants to interchange its functionality. To truly create an environmental design that grows and evolves with its occupant means that you, as the designer, must compose the narrative of space to meet your client’s needs and predict your client’s goals as they evolve. In other words, this...

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How to Add Depth to Design Experience Using In/Visibility

THE IMPORTANCE OF IN/VISIBILITY

Some architectural design features are meant to be the focus of attention, and their visibility makes the spatial experience an unforgettable one. Yet, other architectural design features are meant to be invisible, where they are purposefully designed to recede into the background. For example, when looking through a window, there are times when one would want the window to be accentuated so it frames or makes a statement about the view. Yet, when looking...

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How Injecting Fiction Will Make You a Better Designer

OUTSMARTING DESIGN CONSTRAINTS

When designing, the constraints that reality brings to your set of programmatic challenges can be numerous. After all, you as a designer must solve for constraints including the financial, the technological, and the time-based. And while this must be done for each project, there is often a powerful aspect to design that goes unleveraged – the injection of fiction.

What if during early stages of design concept formulation, you stretched your creative...

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Surpass Design Tools: From Hyper-Reality to Abstract Visualization

TAILORING YOUR DESIGN TOOLS 

Your architectural design visualization tools help you to expand your design thinking and final design results. But how can you harness the power behind what these tools can do, to help you create a winning and seamless design process?

With the amazing new and ever-improving effects that such 3D visualization software tools provide, there are architectural presentation methods that can easily be seen as hyper-real in the way that they present a building...

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The Critical Role of Architecture in Propelling Human Potential

TWO CRITICAL DESIGN ELEMENTS

Architectural environments are extensions of the human body and mind. Similarly, the human body and mind becomes an extension of architectural environments. The two are intricately linked. For this reason, the role of design is evermore critical ― particularly as it takes on more interactive and adaptive dimensions. 

For example, a wonderful hospital design can work wonders to not only support, but also to nurture and even guide a patient's recovery (if...

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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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