Journal of Design Insight

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

To Design for Perception – Create Interdisciplinary ‘Bridges’

 

Discovering the World Anew

As a designer, where do you find inspiration? Furthermore, how do you find new ways by which to push architectural design innovation? For my futurological design projects, I am greatly driven by using what I call “interdisciplinary bridges” to unlock new ways of understanding our surrounding world.

Architectural design is constantly asking its creators to design for perception in new and unique ways that uplift quality of life for the better. And for...

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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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Multi-Sensory Emergence in the Architectural Creative Process

THE EMERGENCE OF CREATIVITY

The creative process is like a spring. You wind-up the spring to prepare for its release. When creating, I absorb in the world and explore internally (my wind-up), and then I have creative emergence (my release). And as I delve into my creative practice, I alternate between the two.

How do you "absorb" as you prepare to "release" your creativity within your design solution? Emergence works very well, when a designer dives deeply into exploration, testing, and...

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How to Analyze Your Sketchbook (to Grow Design Results)

SHIFTING PARADIGMS

Look at your notes, diagrams, and sketches in your journal for the past year. How do these come together to yield your results? To start your analysis, look for patterns. For example, do you write about the same topics over and over again? And is this reflecting in your design work? If you default to the same design paradigm without deepening your insight from project to project, then you likely need to inject a catalyst that will prompt deeper thinking; and thus,...

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Top 3 Ways to Grow Your Design Process to the Next Level

FROM A DESIGN PLATEAU TO DESIGN EVOLUTION

Are your design projects evolving in quality over time? Or are your architecture project results the same from project to project? These are important questions to consider as you strive to innovate not only your architectural design project results, but also strive to position your firm on the leading-edge.

Those architects who do not evolve their design process (improving it over time) will eventually plateau; and thus, create environments that meet...

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How to Leverage the Future of Architectural Concept Design

THE ARCHITECT AS COMPOSER

What will the future of the architectural design process bring? Will you carry forward your trusted design methods while also injecting the opportunities that emerging design technologies bring? As a forward-thinking designer, I invite you to consider what your own future design process could be like, with the continual development of augmented/virtual reality, prediction algorithms, and faster global communication. Such convergence of advancements will help you to...

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How to Design for Human Happiness (as defined by Aristotle)

DESIGN FOR HAPPINESS

How can environments be designed to nurture human happiness? How can environments work to help people evolve into the best version of themselves? These are important questions for which to factor as you perceive, use, and/or design environments. Such thinking allows you to push your architectural designs into new realms, that go beyond short-term function – to also incorporate solutions for long term fulfillment.

In the book entitled Aristotle’s Way, the...

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Hand-Drawing vs Digital-Drawing: How to See Your Design More Deeply

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF DRAWING

When analyzing the finished results between a hand-drawing versus a digital-drawing, the stylistic differences are easy to see. Both types of drawings can be very beautiful, if thoughtfully composed. Yet, a designer will think about what they are drawing very differently depending on which drawing process they use. With hand-drawing, the designer often strives to “capture” insight with each line drawn. With digital-drawing, the designer often strives to...

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How Design Fiction Can Help Your Design Iteration Process

FREEING YOUR DESIGN MIND

As an environmental designer, it is important to make smart design decisions during your creative process – at all stages. This is where the practice of design fiction can be injected into your process, to help you formulate not just one design solution that you iterate; but a variety of possible solutions that you can compare, test, or explore quickly at the beginning of your concept formulation process. Design fiction allows you as a designer to ask better...

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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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