Journal of Design Insight

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

Neuroscience: Changing the Way You Design for Function

SEEING FUNCTION FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE

The design of environments often occurs through a “default” way of thinking. This means that many designers are not pausing to really question whether the functions for which they design, are indeed happening in the best way possible. It is easy to simply design for dining, healing, learning, or working without really questioning if the way we all carry out those functions is the most effective. For example, might a restaurant have a...

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Top 3 Tips to Connect Emotionally with Your Building Occupants

Tapping Into Deeper Occupant Emotion

I often teach about the five levels of experience which are so critical to include within your architectural design. (The five levels are as follows: physiological, intellectual, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual)

By designing for the latter experiential dimensions, you are able to connect and engage with occupants in more meaningful and profound ways. And the experiential level I get asked about most often is embedded within the following question:

How...

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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 Architectural Environments Evoke Emotion in Occupants

How is it possible that one environment can make you feel happy, while another environment can make you feel sad. Can these feelings only be attributed to the people interacting with you? Or does the environment also play a role?

I believe that environments do evoke emotions in occupants, and the way you compose your architectural space with its many materials, lighting, sounds, and textures all play a role in the type of emotions occupants experience.

This leads to an important question that...

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How to Win New Clients with Design Presentations that Show Your Genius

There are many architecture firms that spend a great deal of effort, time, and money on trying to educate potential clients on the innovative ideas in their designs. Unfortunately, such architectural presentations often fall short, as clients are left without an understanding of why those innovative ideas are truly important and necessary. This lack of client understanding often costs architecture firms the project — where they miss out on the commission.

When a firm’s...

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Your Competitive Advantage - Win Clients with Designs You Are Proud Of

There are a lot of architectural design firms out there, and everyone thinks their designs are unique. But clients are not just buying “good-looking” and unique designs that are functional; they care about building designs that bring value to their bottom line — helping their building occupants thrive.

Unfortunately, due to many factors like project complexity, time constraints, and a lack of expertise, firms do not think about their clients’ ultimate goal at a level...

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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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Avoid this Architectural Technology Integration Mistake when Designing

INTRODUCTION

When designing, how do you avoid this common architectural technology integration mistake? In this Micro-Lecture, you will learn three steps to help you holistically inject emerging technologies into the environments you design. These steps serve to heighten your project's sensory design performance for occupants.

 

MICRO-LECTURE TRANSCRIPT

How do you avoid this common architectural technology integration mistake? This is a mistake that often detracts from the sensory...

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Using Multi-Sensory Design to Solve for Your Project Challenges

FINDING DESIGN SOLUTION ALIGNMENT

In an architectural design project, there is often a core problem that the design needs to solve ― followed by secondary and tertiary problems that also need design answers. When creating your design concept, how do you find that “convergence point” where your design solves for all of these problems, limitations, and requests while still preserving the integrity and authenticity of your design idea?

Perhaps your design idea is driven by the design...

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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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