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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
Adaptive Architecture

Using Design to Step Beyond One's Comfort Zone

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

It seems that the environment can help its occupants to expand beyond their own comfort zones, to achieve higher potentials and realize authentic fulfillment. This does not mean pushing a person into a situation that is dangerous or completely unexpected. But it does mean helping a person step into their next level of greatness.

Neuroscience

Neuroscience: Changing the Way You Design for Function

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Use neuroscience to not only improve life as we currently know it, but to also question and innovate the way we live. I have a hunch that it will unlock new and exciting ways for people to perceive and interact with the world around them --- all because the environment does not take function for granted.

User Experience

Top 3 Tips to Connect Emotionally with Your Building Occupants

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Three fantastic methods to help you create architectural designs that touch occupants in just the right way, and at just the right time --- so they will connect with themselves, with each other, and with your design work in beneficial ways.

Video Micro-Lectures

How to Design Interactive Architecture to Foster Occupant Collaboration

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

In this Micro-Lecture, you will learn how to shift the way you think about the design of interactive architecture --- so it can foster new levels of collaboration among building occupants. Watch the following presentation to learn mindset formulas, and design drivers to guide your design explorations.

Sense of Place

How Architectural Environments Evoke Emotion in Occupants

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

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?

Professional Practice

How to Win New Clients with Presentations that Showcase the Genius in Your Designs

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

The key to winning new clients and getting your most ingenious designs approved is to give leading-edge presentations that make even your most complex design ideas easy for clients to grasp, so they understand why investing in your design solution is a must. The following are three ideas to help your architecture firm win new projects with presentations that showcase the genius in your designs.

Professional Practice

How to Create Competitive Advantage and Win Clients with Designs You Are Proud Of

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

There are a lot of architectural design firms out there, and everyone thinks their designs are unique. But clients are not just buying “good-looking” and unique designs that are functional; they care about building designs that bring value to their bottom line — helping their building occupants thrive.

Sense of Place

How to Make Design Innovation Stick by Unlocking Authenticity

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Each project challenge comes with its own unique situation. Everything from a site analysis to an understanding of the surrounding culture is necessary to unlock what will make your architectural design stand authentically as a solution that is both innovative and complementary to the inherent context which came before. But how do you ensure that your design approach and subsequent solution is both innovative and authentic? Can both conditions exist at the same time?

Video Micro-Lectures

How to Avoid this Common Architectural Technology Integration Mistake when Designing

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

When designing, how do you avoid this common architectural technology integration mistake? In this Micro-Lecture, you will learn three steps to help you holistically inject emerging technologies into the environments you design. These steps serve to heighten your project's sensory design performance for occupants.

Architectural Design

The Promise of Multi-Sensory Design to Solve for Your Project Challenges

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

A key to finding a design convergence point that solves for many of the challenges your project faces is to place your building occupants at the center, through multi-sensory design. From here, it becomes possible to innovate architectural experience while also overcoming the difficult project challenges that exist.

Architectural Design

The Gap between Your Creative Vision and Design Tools

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As architects, often there is a gap between the vision for a building design and the existence of materials available with which it can be built. Yet, the gap between creative vision and creative tools is also just as important --- but in a different way.

Design Process

Fusing Science with Poetics for “Design Beauty” Innovation

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As you design your architectural concept, it may help you to think of design features and their materials as exuding both scientific and poetics effects. For the scientific, one may question how a particular design was achieved. While for the poetic, one may question how a particular effect was captured. In either case, the scientific understanding when coupled with poetic meaning leads can lead to amazing beauty.

Design Process

The Role of "Unbuildable Ideas" In Your Design Process

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

What if while designing, your creative exploration takes you down a path toward an architectural idea that is "unbuildable"? Once you make the realization that your design approach cannot be physically realized…what do you do next?

Architectural Design

How to Use Authenticity to Innovate Architectural Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As you design, be sure to create authentic architectural environments that are true to their surrounding context, people, and culture. In other words, you can build upon the past while still relating to it and supporting it. Again, find the “uniqueness” of place, people, and culture --- and innovate to relate, support, and uplift.

Video Micro-Lectures

How to Personalize Your Architectural Design as Filter

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

In this Micro-Lecture you will learn how to better personalize your environments to individuals within a collective or culture so their experience within your design is a success.

Design Process

Hybrid Architectural Design Tools for Extraordinary Presentations

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Most designers rely on the same design tools to formulate their design concepts, over and over again --- without giving much thought to how the design tool, itself, impacts the design outcome. You see, your design presentation tools can be used to experiment with new design ideas, and they can be innovated to help you breakthrough to new levels of design.

Design Process

The Design-Behavior Loop: How Occupant-Response Informs High Performance Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Yes, architectural design evokes behavioral response within its occupants. And as an architect it is important to understand, analyze, and improve upon your design process and end-results. Thus, by delving more deeply into the ways your design impacts those that engage with it, you can ultimately gain information to help improve its outcome.

Design Process

Design that Reaches for the Impossible

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

By pushing environments to do more for occupants, you will delve further into uncovering the nuances behind what your building occupants need, both in the short-term and long-term. As you research in this manner, you will see ways for your design to reach higher synergistic levels by envisioning your design in greater detail.

Technology

Top 3 Ways to Leverage Technology When Designing

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As an architect, it is important to guide your tools in a way that helps you see deeper into your designs. Yes, using 3D visualization tools do help you to make your initial design vision more tangible. But how can you go beyond this, to leverage technology to better formulate and analyze a concept during your design process?

Virtual Reality

How Computerized Contact Lenses Can Make You Think Differently About Architectural Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As technologies continue to advance, building occupants are becoming capable of more and more. It began with the introduction of the computer, then went onto the smart phones, and now on the forefront are augmented reality technologies — one of which carries with it far-reaching implications.

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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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