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How to Design for the Future of Architectural Technology


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

‍© Image Credit: denisismagilov | Fotolia

Experiencing Technology within Environments

Have you ever experienced a building that was painful? This is a building that may have been designed well in some ways, but it lacked the proper integration of architectural technology. You see, when technology is tacked on within an environment as an afterthought, the space will likely suffer in its ability to provide an experience that empowers occupants – from a multi-sensory design perspective.

Much work goes into an architectural design, from concept formulation to design development and beyond. But all of this design vision and planning can quickly lose effect once built and in use if technology is not factored and integrated well. For example, many technologies emit noise that is often unwanted and is heard at the wrong times (while one is trying to sleep, relax, or even carry through with an activity). Have you ever heard the annoying hum of an air conditioner overpower the sound from a television? This is a simple example of how poorly integrated technologies can even compete with one another in effort to provide occupants with what they need. Yet, they conflict as their functions each deter from the other’s goals.

Strategically Designing with Technology

As you design your environments, you need to be aware of how best to think about and integrate technologies. After all, when well integrated from a strategic multi-sensory standpoint, technology can often help an environment by expanding what it can do for occupants. The key is for you as an environmental designer to gain deep undestanding into the caveats and opportunities of technology integration. Technology brings with it many conditions that can benefit or deter your designs. And as new technologies emerge, it becomes evermore important to stay ahead of the curve, by understanding how to most strategically leverage the advantages and opportunities that technologies bring.

The Future of Environments that Leverage Technology

My new book entitled Adapative Sensory Environments will teach you how to design forward-thinking architecture that uses new technologies in very creative and strategic ways. This book has just been published and I highly recommend it to you as it will expand the way you think about cutting-edge multi-sensory environments of the future. You will see that technology, when integrated well, can really bring optimal benefit for occupants within environments. But again, the key is to integrate technology properly. And to do this, you need to gain that deep understanding behind how and why it can enhance a design, instead of setting it back. Again, my new book Adaptive Sensory Environments will guide you in creative and insightful ways.

To learn more about my new book or to order a copy of Adaptive Sensory Environments, please visit:


what members are saying...
Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

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