Journal of Design Insight

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

How to Leverage the Interplay Between Technology and Nature

TUNING ARCHITECTURAL SPACES

The design of architectural environments is becoming even more strategic; with an eye toward helping building occupants achieve higher levels of well-being. And this phenomenon is occurring around the world, as multi-sensory design gets applied to spaces in a multitude of cultures. As such, it is sensory design that can help people to achieve higher levels of well-being by tailoring environments to their needs.

Yet, multi-sensory design can be pushed much further....

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Finding Purpose: The Mission Behind Your Design

FINDING YOUR “WHY”

Why do you do the work you do? As an architect, is there a specific threshold you are trying to cross with your design creations? Or are you simply designing building after building to meet basic needs, without giving much thought to what contribution your designs are making?

It is important for you, as an architectural designer, to bring your designs to that next level – where they push boundaries for better innovation. Perhaps you aim to have your design...

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How to Expand (and Sharpen) Your Design Process

AWAKENING TO YOUR CREATIVITY

When designing architectural environments, how do you notice your creative thinking? Yes, this question asks how you as a designer can observe your design process. Why is this important? When you become truly aware of your creative process, you are able to step outside of it to ask important questions and make critical decisions to improve and optimize how you design. For example, by observing your design process you may ask: What is this design tool helping me to...

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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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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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How to Create Unique Design Ideas that Push Boundaries

THE CREATIVE WALL

When working on design projects that always require high levels of creativity, there are times when designers hit a creative “wall”. This wall is not the same as having a complete creative block. Instead, this is a creative wall that seems to limit or cap further innovation. For example, have you ever felt that you were running out of creativity – where a sense of boredom or lack of excitement about your work surfaced? If so, you are not alone. Many...

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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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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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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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