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sparks of insight. in each new article.

Learn more about design theories, strategies, and methodologies by Maria Lorena Lehman.

latest articles
Professional Practice

How to Get Client Approval for Your Most Innovative Design Ideas

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As an architect, one of the most beneficial skillsets for you to develop is your ability to create truly innovative designs that your clients love. Over the years, I have heard about the huge challenge architects face as they strive to both innovate their design and “sell” those innovative ideas to their client for approval.

Building Green

How to Integrate Digital Nature into Your Architectural Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

There are times within an architectural design project when digital nature can accomplish goals that actual physical nature cannot. You see, digital nature can be used in three unique ways to enhance an environment that serves to empower the occupant that inhabits its space. The following are three techniques for you to “pull” from physical nature, to create digital nature that presents the “real-thing” in entirely new and innovative ways.

Design Process

How to Know When You Find the Right Design Solution

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As you work your way through the all-important design concept phase, how do you assess the quality of your design concept? There are numerous aspects you can base a design concept’s success upon.

Interactive Architecture

How to Design Architectural Interactivity that Emotionally Connects

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As interactivity continues to be integrated into designed environments, it is important to explore how such interactivity can emerge into forming the behavioral character of a design. With each interaction between design element and building occupant, interactive architectural environments form impressions in the memory of their occupants.

Architectural Design

Design Proximity and Timing to Help Avoid Sensory Side-Effects

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Have you ever formulated a solution for a design problem, and then discovered that your solution created other new problems? Finding a design solution is not enough – one must also determine how to hone and refine this solution to avoid any side-effects it may bring.

Technology

How Holograms Will Fuse, Augment, and Extend Real-World Environments

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As technology continues to advance, it is important for designers to consider (and guide) how such technologies will affect and be injected into environments. This is particularly true for the long-promised technology which is now gaining ground in its development – the hologram.

Architectural Design

Can Environments Nurture Higher Emotional Intelligence?

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As you design your architectural concepts, be sure to think more than about how your building occupants would react. Take your design vision further. When formulating your concept, think of how your building can help your occupant to become smarter – not just intellectually, but emotionally as well.

Building Green

How to Leverage the Interplay Between Technology and Nature

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Paradoxically, as both technology and biophilia are increasingly integrated into everyday spaces, environments will become more personalized, and more nurturing. In other words, technology will help environments to “tune”, while biophilia in design will help environments to “nurture”.

Design Process

Finding Purpose: The Mission Behind Your Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Why do you do the work you do? As an architect, is there a specific threshold you are trying to cross with your design creations? Or are you simply designing building after building to meet basic needs, without giving much thought to what contribution your designs are making? It is important for you, as an architectural designer, to bring your designs to that next level – where they push boundaries for better innovation.

Design Creativity

Top 5 Ways to Grow Design Creativity In the Next Year

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As an environmental designer, it is ever important to lift your work to the next level. This means that you never settle into a design process plateau where creative growth remains stagnant. And as you work to inject multi-sensory design into your architectural creations, you keep your design vision, decision-making, and communication skills at their peak levels. This is why I created the following top 5 list of best ways to grow your design creativity in the year ahead…

Adaptive Architecture

How to Design Architecture that Helps Occupants Achieve Goals

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

What if architecture’s function was not only to meet a need, but to also help its occupants to achieve a longer-term goal? For example, a person may want to exercise more to increase health, or they may want to create an amazing presentation to win a big project at work. Can environments actually help occupants with such goals? Yes, I believe they can – and the following are a few examples of how this can be possible…

User Experience

How Multi-Sensory Design Impacts Human Emotion

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

When multi-sensory design is properly injected into an architect’s design process, the entire project benefits. Suddenly, it becomes possible to solve for those initial programmatic requirements while still being able to go above and beyond so your building can also help its occupants to achieve highest levels of well-being. The key to making this all work is to use multi-sensory design to tap into human emotion through the built environment you create.

Design Process

How to Create Unique Design Ideas that Push Boundaries

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Have you ever felt that you were running out of creativity – where a sense of boredom or lack of excitement about your work surfaced? If so, you are not alone. Many designers hit a creative wall, but the expert designers know how to break through that wall quickly.

Architectural Design

Top 3 Ways Your Design Can Reach Its Creative Potential

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

The key to achieving your best design solution is to make the best design decisions possible at each step in your design process journey. The following are three critical ways for you to unlock your design’s truest and best potential so it has maximum positive benefit for those by whom it will be experienced.

Adaptive Architecture

How to Design Environments that Grow with Client Needs and Goals over Time

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

When designing, do you give thought to how your creation will grow with its user? Of course, this means more than simply creating flexible space that allows building occupants to interchange its functionality. To truly create an environmental design that grows and evolves with its occupant means that you, as the designer, must compose the narrative of space to meet your client’s needs and predict your client’s goals as they evolve.

Design Process

How to Add Depth to Design Experience Using In/Visibility

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Some architectural design features are meant to be the focus of attention, and their visibility makes the spatial experience an unforgettable one. Yet, other architectural design features are meant to be invisible, where they are purposefully designed to recede into the background.

Design Creativity

How Injecting Fiction Will Make You a Better Designer

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

When designing, the constraints that reality brings to your set of programmatic challenges can be numerous. After all, you as a designer must solve for constraints including the financial, the technological, and the time-based. And while this must be done for each project, there is often a powerful aspect to design that goes unleveraged – the injection of fiction.

Digital Media

Surpass Your Design Tools: From Hyper-Reality to Abstract Digital Visualization

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Your architectural design visualization tools help you to expand your design thinking and final design results. But how can you harness the power behind what these tools can do, to help you create a winning and seamless design process?

Architectural Design

The Critical Role of Architecture in Propelling Human Potential

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

When it comes to making great architecture, there are two critical elements: creative vision and multi-sensory design. As an architect, the more you work to improve each element, the greater the gains you will find within your resulting design outcome. But what is that outcome all about? Is it simply about landing the next big client? Or creating environments occupants love? What is behind these fantastic results? And what sort of long-term impact is your designed environment making?

User Experience

How Scenario-Testing Your Architecture Project Prevents Design Mistakes

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Developing your architectural design through various stages of drawing, modeling, and simulation are all critical to achieving wonderful environments that help occupants to thrive. But, your designs can be made better through more detailed testing of different situations likely to affect your design, and subsequently its occupants.

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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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