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maria lorena lehman

Leading Expert of Multi-Sensory Design Innovation for Architecture

why evolve design?

the mission

create the future of our dreams. to improve lives.

Maria Lorena Lehman focuses on innovation that renews design process for the epic architecture of tomorrow — where through emerging trends in technology and interdisciplinary findings, this digital platform helps architectural practitioners, scholars, researchers and consultants gain more profound insight into architectural design to find new ways of creating optimal occupant experiences. This website is a research, design, and learning portal where discoveries create processes by which architectural evolution can occur. The book publications, Studio works, and Academy courses made available through this platform inspire, guide, and educate fellow architectural practitioners, scholars, researchers and consultants internationally on design vision, strategy, process, workflow and findings that impact architectural results. The goal is to transform life for the better by innovating occupant experience through leading-edge architectural environments.

research focus

sensory design
adaptive design
concept formulation
poetic experience
design innovation
inter-disciplinary design
"The earlier you can see more deeply
into your design, the better."

Maria Lorena Lehman
what will you learn?

start here

break through to new ways of seeing design. (your clients will thank you.)

This digital platform is for those interested in architectural design, science and new technologies. New content is added regularly to help you learn about innovative design, concepts, and solutions. You will find a body of work created by Maria Lorena Lehman including: book publications, Studio works, and Academy courses. 

what is Sensing Architecture®?

The definition is to design architecture from an occupant-centered approach that forms synergies between the built environment, emerging technologies, nature, and occupant sensing, processing, and experience in order to uplift quality of life. Sensing Architecture pulls from disciplines such as neuroscience, nanotechnology, biophilia, biomimicry, captology, big data, and systems design in order to evolve architecture to the next level – that beneficially impacts occupants by providing optimum value that goes beyond meeting occupant need, by helping occupants to reach milestones, goals, and ultimate fulfillment.

why does it matter?

Sensing Architecture® matters because it is our responsibility as authors, designers, and educators of built environments, to innovate architecture to bring maximum and optimized benefit for occupants. Sensing Architecture provides a way to evolve architecture into that next level where environments overcome critical 21st century challenges while simultaneously uplifting quality of life for occupants in entirely new ways.

how will it help you?

By exploring the science of how occupants perceive space, Sensing Architecture® will teach you how to bridge the gap between new technology and architectural design — helping you to design more effective, beautiful and humane state-of-the-art environments that greatly uplift quality of life. In turn, this will improve your design career by helping you to win more ideal projects and clients while growing your design work legacy.

who is behind this work?

the founder

peEk into the unfolding story that brings my work to you.

maria lorena lehman

leading expert of multi-sensory design innovation for architecture

This digital platform is founded and created by Maria Lorena Lehman, a leading expert of multi-sensory design innovation for architecture --- an 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 the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

In her role as an Associate at a notable architecture firm, Maria worked on numerous award-winning architectural projects. Additionally, she has also received a wide-range of scholarly honors. Maria Lorena Lehman has served as an Instructor and Returning Critic at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Currently, her research focuses on links between the human sensory system and new technologies for architectural design.

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another way i design. with words.

book: academic monograph

adaptive sensory environments


Book Review: "Maria Lorena Lehman has established a formidable international reputation as a researcher and teacher of multi-sensory design. All her work is devoted to enhancing the human experience when working and living in buildings. This book continues to explore this motive and shows her keen awareness of the lessons from the past and current trends in foreseeing the future for architecture. It is full of creative thought. She examines how technology, nature, learning from other design sectors and many other aspects can harness benefits for occupants and in this way transform architectural design. This is a book students, academics and professionals in practice should embrace and I believe will relish." — Derek Clements-Croome, Professor Emeritus, School of the Built Environment, Reading University, UK

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Maria Lorena Lehman has been published or featured in the following international publications.

book chapter

Intelligent Buildings, 2nd Edition

The book entitled Intelligent Buildings 2nd Edition is to serve as a reference book for the architecture and construction discipline. As such, I had the honor to publish my research as an Original Contributor for this book. Chapter 4 within the book is entitled Environmental Sensory Design — and this is the Chapter which I contributed for publication. I highly recommend that you read through this book, as it is a forward-thinking and comprehensive valuable resource for Intelligent Buildings — design, management, and operation.

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research paper

intelligent buildings international

Maria Lorena Lehman's research paper on sensory design has been published in the peer-review research journal, Intelligent Buildings International. The paper, entitled How Sensory Design Brings Value to Buildings and their Occupants by Maria Lorena Lehman, delves into why sensory design has such potential to make a positive difference in the way we live within architectural spaces. Furthermore, the research paper discusses specific ways that value can be obtained from a sensory design approach, particularly as emerging technologies continue to develop.

quote by editor-in-chief Derek Clements-Croome, University of Reading, UK
Sensory design is pivotal if we are to ensure buildings will be responsive to human needs. […] Rather than my words let those of Lehman speak for themselves.
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research paper

international journal of architectural theory

Written by Maria Lorena Lehman, the research paper Interpretation and Evolution: A Scenario was published in the peer-review journal, International Journal of Architectural Theory based in Germany.

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feature article

architect magazine
official journal of the aia

“How does memory play a role in the way we experience buildings? Or sound? Or optical illusions? What do advances in computing, power generation, lighting, materials, etc., mean for building design? How can “smart” environments affect our behavior or our mood for the better? And what about biomimicry? These are the kinds of issues Maria Lorena Lehman blogs about…” — Braulio Agnese, Sr. Editor, ARCHITECT Magazine

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feature article

building tomorrow magazine

“Healthcare architecture and innovative design plays a critical role when it comes to the quality of treatment and care for patients and the medical teams who support them. Maximized to its full potential, architecture has the ability to ease painful suffering, guide patients toward faster and better quality healing, and solve healthcare challenges which often detrimentally affect patients….”
— Maria Lorena Lehman, Author, Designer, Educator

official magazine for quebec architect's assoc.

The article entitled “Une Conception du Bonheur” by Marie-Claude Morin, explores how receptive architects are to findings in the environmental psychology and cognitive science fields. This article is originally written in French, as this is the official magazine for the Quebec Architect’s Association. 

The following is a brief excerpt translated from the original French version:

Some individuals also make efforts to disseminate information and educate their fellow architects to the latest discoveries in psychology and cognitive science as they apply to architectural practice. This is the case of Maria Lorena Lehman, American architect, a Harvard graduate […] —

“I was fascinated when I came across research showing that the construction of a hospital room could have a significant impact on drug consumption, sleep, mood and even the propensity to take a shower [and engage in Activities of Daily Living]. I decided to dedicate my work to better understand this interaction between the individual and the building.” 
— Quote by Maria Lorena Lehman