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Journal of Design Insight

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

Using New Mediums to Shift Architectural Paradigms

CAPTURING THE POETICS OF SPACE

As an environmental designer, it is important to bridge between the worlds of theory and practice. Each pushes the other to deepen, by expanding boundaries and making new connections. Yet, there is an in-between mode where theory and practice fuse. This moment of fusion is of particular interest to me, and is where my design approach focuses.

As I work in this in-between with different artistic mediums to explore and capture the poetics of space, the years of...

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What Is the Purpose of Achieving Poetics in Design?

A NEW LEVEL OF AWARENESS

As environmental designers, it is important to keep an occupant-centered approach when creating those all-important creative concepts. And to achieve a high level of success with your building, once in-use, it is important to understand what your measure of success actually is for a project. There can be many metrics by which to gauge the success of an architectural design – productivity improvement within an office space, healing quality within a hospital, or...

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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 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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How Contemplative Spaces in Architecture Deepen Connection

Giving Occupants Room to Breathe

Within an architectural design narrative, it is wise to give occupants room to breathe — to absorb what they have experienced and to prepare for what is to come. If it is all “surprise, surprise, surprise”, a design can lose impact potential by not allowing occupants to process what those “surprises” mean to them for their needs, goals, and ultimate fulfillment. As you will learn later in this article, architecture that...

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How to Deepen the Sense of Place Your Designs Create

Strengthening the Relationship between Occupant and Environment

An architecturally designed environment, when newly built, stands ready to welcome occupants inside – to utilize its environments from which they can extract function, beauty and meaning. But have you considered that your occupant will actually develop a relationship with your designed architecture over time? And that this relationship will deepen with each occupant visit to the environment you create?

In some ways,...

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How Architecture Experience and Meaning Uplift Your Design Quality

Why Architecture Experience and Meaning Matter

When one extracts meaning from experience, value is given through a lesson learned, a memory formed, or even a new idea created. And since environments are catalysts for experience, it is wise for designers to give attention to what meaning is both conveyed and interpreted.

Architecture experience and meaning go hand-in-hand. Experience often leads to meaning, and meaning gives value to experience. So, what role does architecture play in all of...

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How Emotion Impacts the Perception of Architecture

The Link Between Emotion and “Sense of Place”

Architecture can trigger emotion. Just look at how designed memorials can trigger emotions like pride, sadness, or gratitude. Similarly, other building types can yield surprise or can even mellow one’s mood. It all becomes a matter of how a particular place is designed — to trigger for an emotional response in its occupants.

Emotion in architecture can often be linked to how well an architecture exudes a “sense of...

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Giving Architecture a “Sense of Place”

Greater than the Sum of its Parts

What should the term “sense of place” mean to you as an architect?

A “place” is a simple term at first glance; but when you delve deeper, various issues spring forward…

For starters, there are specific features that usually tend to come together to make up a “place”. One of these features might include a physical configuration like having a center with boundaries, neighboring sub-center clusters and a peripheral...

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Using Context to Spark a Spiritual Design that Touches the Soul

Within your building it is very important to meet basic human needs — whether they be your occupants’ needs for shelter, to work productively, learn alertly or even heal more quickly. Yet, that is not all that good and inspired architecture should do. As you may have noticed, within great works of architecture there is often a more spiritual side to those buildings which “moves” those occupants as they travel within them — and thus, is born spiritual design....

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