Journal of Design Insight

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How Creative Vision Teaches You to Become a Better Architect

FORESEEING IMPACT OF VISION

It is inevitable for architects to integrate occupants into their design process. Not only must environmental designers solve for occupant needs, but they must also consider how occupants will engage with and subsequently change the design intent once the environment has been constructed.

In other words, as an architect, it is important for you to ask yourself if the way your design gets constructed and used is the way you originally envisioned when starting the...

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Using Design to Step Beyond One's Comfort Zone

SPACE THE EXPANDS YOUR POTENTIAL

What if environmental design could push occupants beyond their comfort zone at just the right time to help them achieve milestones and goals they desire? What would this type of architecture look and feel like? Would you want to experience it?

Just imagine all of the times in life when stepping out of your comfort zone has brought you success in some area of your life. Perhaps you stepped out of your comfort zone to exercise. Or perhaps you stepped out of your...

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Do You Design Architecture "Beyond the Box"?

TRANSLATING DRIVERS THROUGH YOUR DESIGN PROCESS

As an environmental designer, how do you keep your creative edge sharp? In other words, what do you do to keep your design process fresh and innovative as it pulls from your experience, research, and skillset? When doing this as an architect, your creativity will be ever-expanding and your ability to think “beyond the box” will grow evermore genius.

Developing the ability to evolve your design process is critical not only to your...

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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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How to Design Interactive Architecture for Occupant Collaboration

INTRODUCTION

In this Micro-Lecture, you will learn how to shift the way you think about the design of interactive architecture --- so it can foster new levels of collaboration among building occupants. Watch the following presentation to learn mindset formulas, and design drivers to guide your design explorations.

 

MICRO-LECTURE FULL TRANSCRIPT

00:06 Maria Lorena Lehman: This is Maria Lorena Lehman, founder of the Sensing Architecture Academy and of the MLL Design Lab. In...

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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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Structure of Gravity: The Rise of Architecture

Structure of Gravity | © Image Credit: Maria Lorena Lehman | MLL Design Lab, LLC

DESIGN INSIGHT

The above close-up section of a recent environmental drawing I created explores what I call the structure of gravity. This paradoxical term speaks to the bridging of architecture between the earth and sky – as built form rises upward as if to collaborate with the science of gravity through the structure of design expression. This piece invites one to consider the behavioral...

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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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How to Make Design Innovation Stick by Unlocking Authenticity

YOUR PROJECT UNIQUENESS

From project to project, it is important to allow design concepts to be authentic for the project context and for the project problem they aim to solve. Do you solve all projects within certain building types with the same solution? Or do you strive to ask new questions and find new insights with each project design challenge for which you must solve? If you aim for the latter, then you are taking a step in the right direction.

Each project challenge comes with its own...

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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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