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special encore webinar presentation

Register for the FREE Special Encore Webinar Presentation that will teach you three techniques for creating extraordinary design concepts that outsmart problem complexity.


Use 3D VIZ Models to Create Design Behaviors


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy


This micro-lecture serves to deconstruct the 3D Visualization modeling process to show how it can go beyond representation, to also become a more integral part of the design process that enriches architectural design for experience. In today’s video micro-lecture, you will learn about the feedback cycle where 3D visualization models can be used to inform design decisions about form and material behaviors. The diagram used in the micro-lecture shows how the feedback loop works — where the architect begins with an idea about form and material changeability that gets synchronized through stimuli interactions to ultimately yield a virtual/physical immersive experience. It is this resulting experience that can be used to inform a design while it is in the critically important conceptual stage.


Micro-Lecture Transcript

00:05 Maria Lorena Lehman: This is Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of In today’s micro lecture, we’re going to explore how to use 3D VIZ models, that is 3D visualization models, to create design behaviors. So when you’re working on your architectural design concept projects, you may begin by thinking of form, the simplicity or complexity of your form, in relation to the materiality of your architectural elements.

00:40 MLL: Now, form and materiality are intrinsically linked, and stimuli is a linchpin between the two. But in terms of design behavior, we begin to look at how form and materiality begin to engage with each other in a changeable fashion, and this changeability translates into transience. This is sort of the fleeting nature of form and material. And when strategically designed, this changeability between form and materiality leads to interactions, and again, the stimuli that exists as language between form and materiality becomes synchronized, or sequentially experienced through interactions that occupants perceive and engage with.

01:36 MLL: Such interactions can be composed by you, as the architect, through an architectural narrative. This becomes the journey that the occupant takes within your architectural design. And then, these interactions through narrative, yield an immersive experience. Now, all of this, as can be seen in the diagram, relates to 3D visualization models in terms of how these models can help you create design behaviors. By using your models to explore how the stimuli comes together between form and materiality, and how the changeability or transience between those two can yield interactions, allows you to create virtual immersive experiences where you can explore and analyze your occupant and architecture relationships.

02:36 MLL: Now, because immersive experiences are possible through the virtual worlds of 3D visualization models, you can then use the information you gather from your analysis to adjust the dynamics of your model. This means that in the design process, the behaviors of your design can go back to the changeability or transience that impacts the form and materiality within your project. So, you can see in this diagram the feedback cycle and loop that occurs when you design with 3D visualization models to help you create design behaviors that will bring maximum benefit for your occupants. Thank you for watching. This is Maria Lorena Lehman, founder of


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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