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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 for Architectural Flow

THE IMPORTANCE OF NARRATIVE

When watching a film, the audience of that movie is experiencing a cinematic “flow”. That is, they are immersed within the real-time narrative of the film as it progresses from scene to scene. The same can be said about architecture, as it flows from feature to feature with transitioning spaces between features. Architectural flow is a higher-level poetic goal to reach as you design environments. After all, there is a significant difference between a...

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Design Environments beyond Function to Reach a New Level of Poetics

Designing occupant-centered architecture calls for designers to think about environments as providing more than mere comfort. For architectural design, this means striving to reach beyond functionality within your solution. Together with function, aesthetics and meaning must be fused. But how do these all work together to yield new kinds of poetics that innovate occupant experience to uplift quality of life for the better? It all begins with your initial design vision and subsequent...

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Design at the Edge of Architectural Perception

DESIGN AT THE EDGE

Uplifting quality of life for occupants is often the primary aim of designing environments for human perception. Such places exude heightened experiential qualities including orientation, sense of place, and designing for the classical senses to create environments that help occupants to thrive. But what happens when designing for human perception leads to a more surreal experience? What happens when an environment is purposefully designed to bring occupants to the...

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3 Ways to Use "Meaningful Freedom" within Design to Nurture Creativity

MEANINGFUL FREEDOM WITHIN WHICH TO BE CREATIVE

Most all architectural spaces call for the need to help occupants grow their creativity. Office buildings strive for creativity to improve worker productivity, schools strive for creativity to improve student learning, and even homes strive for creativity to optimize processes, improve relationships, and to increase fun. Without creativity as an integrated design factor, architectural space runs the risk of becoming redundant.

Creativity within...

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How to Use Light to Harness Architectural Design Poetics

DESIGN AS A SCIENTIST AND ARTIST

As an architectural designer, how you think about light can make all the difference in your design’s success. For example, do you work with architectural light as more of a scientist or an artist? This distinction can help you to become better at doing both. And when you design environmental light as both a scientist and an artist, your designs will be more fully enjoyed by occupants as they experience the poetics of your built vision.

When you...

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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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Can Environments Nurture Higher Emotional Intelligence?

INSPIRING NEW KINDS OF CARE

What is the role of environments as we progress into the 21st century? Of course, they still provide places for living, working, learning, healing, and playing – but the way in which environments will nurture these activities is changing as we evolve into the future. In particular, the convergence of responsive design with multi-sensory design can bring about a new kind of nurturing, where building occupants learn and grow within environments.

Being more than...

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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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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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How Poetics of Place Determines Level of Impact

ARCHITECTURE CAN DO MORE

As an architect designing environments, it is important to strive for highest level design poetics. This allows one’s project to engage building occupants more fully. Yes, a building can meet a certain level of function and aesthetic requirements – and this may serve occupants by providing for their basic needs. But how can your architecture do more for occupants? To help them in new ways, and to engage them with an experience that leaves them better off...

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