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Technology

A collection of articles about technology.

Technology
Technology

How to Learn from the Future to Become a Design Pioneer

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As is typical with the present-time, we are always in the midst of emerging trends. For designers, this means either following the trends or setting new ones by being well ahead of the curve. Environmental design is no different. As advancing technologies like virtual reality lead to augmented realty, or as interactive physical space leads to adaptive physical space, it becomes fascinating (and necessary) to question where these technological developments are heading.

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.

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?

Technology

3 Ways to Extract Experiential Advantage from Technology

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

When designing, technology can do a lot to either enhance or detract from a project. And the way you guide technology integration into your environment is what makes all the difference. For every design decision you make, there is an ultimate consequence that your occupant will experience. And the interaction between those decisions, yield entirely new consequential experiences.

Technology

How to Push the Boundaries of Architectural Technology

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Architectural technology can often act as a double-edged sword. If integrated properly, it can benefit building occupants – but if improperly integrated, technology can greatly detract from all that your environment is trying to accomplish. When thinking about sensory design, technology becomes an important factor to consider.

Technology

How to Design for the Future of Architectural Technology

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

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.

Technology

How the Google Virtual Reality Paintbrush Can Help You Design Architecture

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Google is unveiling a virtual reality paintbrush which allows one to create three-dimensional design forms to human scale. By wearing a headset and waving a hand-held paint-brush tool, a designer can create a virtual world limited only by their imagination.

Technology

How 4D Printing Technology Can Change Design Thinking

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

By using 4D printing technology, they are now able to create forms that shapeshift once immersed in water. This is an interesting technique that has far-reaching applications — particularly for the discipline of architectural design thinking.

Technology

How Architectural Technology Design Impacts Human Potential

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

In the past, architectural technology design has served to improve the standard of living. From better lighting and air quality to innovative tools that free up occupant time, technology has been evolving to help alleviate occupant repetitive tasks, and other painful environmental aspects. But what if technology could do more?

Technology

Use Architectural Technology Design to Fuel Connection

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

In an age where communication occurs in real-time, architectural technology design is critical to get right. When designed well, technology integrated into environments can actually “unite” people with each other and with the healthy activities which are best for them and that they enjoy most. In this case, architectural technology becomes a “connector” where new interactions become possible between people, and for people.

Technology

The Effects of Calm Technology within Environments

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As evolutionary trends continue, emerging technologies are getting smaller, cheaper, and smarter — all of which push technology to become evermore ubiquitous. And as technologies continue to integrate into our daily lives through architectural environments, such innovations evolve to not only become more flexible, interactive and adaptable; but to eventually disappear.

Technology

Smart Watch: A Bridge between Architecture and Occupant

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As new innovations like the Apple iWatch emerge — one can’t help but explore what possibilities lie ahead as they make their way into the market. Of course, there will be a multitude of new applications that make good use of the hardware that smart watches like the iWatch use to help them interface with their human wearers.

Technology

Using Interactive Lenses to Enhance Occupant Experience in Buildings

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As new technologies are being developed, architecture is getting better at communicating with its occupants. For example, real-time communication can occur between a building’s system and an occupant’s clothing — or other worn devices, like interactive lenses.

Technology

Experiencing Notre Dame de Paris in New Light

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

The beautiful Notre Dame de Paris has been recently merged with new Philips lighting technologies. In fact, its interior has been entirely augmented with state-of-the-art LED lighting that allows for Notre Dame to be experienced anew.

Technology

Top 6 Ways Building Function Is Amplified By Digital Screens

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Just about everywhere you go, there is a digital screen within the built environment. Such digital screens can be in the form of television screens, computer screens or even interactive window screens. You see, each of the latter acts as a focal point or anchor within a space — sometimes detracting from building function, and other times adding to it.

Technology

Rethinking the CubeSensor to Boost Occupant Performance

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

An investment in the CubeSensor seems minimal compared to the benefits that it would provide. Imagine being able to fine tune your surroundings while trying to work, exercise, cook, or even sleep. Each activity may call for slight adjustments in environmental quality — adjustments that the next version of the CubeSensor may help to communicate.

Technology

How Wearable Technology Will Change Building Occupants

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

All of these advantages of wearable technology will change your building occupant. They will be more informed, more self-aware, and more connected. In fact, they will even connect to their surrounding environments in new ways.

Technology

A New Way to Visualize Architecture: The Holograph

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

There is a new way to visualize architecture and communicate its design. It is a new method which comes in the form of the “holographic architectural representation system”.

Technology

Implications of a 3D Printed House

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Building construction is often an endeavor that takes a long time and costs a lot of money. Thus, advancements are being made that are changing the very nature of the way construction occurs. You see, by using robots to build houses, many benefits can be gained — particularly when those homes are built using the “Contour Crafting” method.

Technology

How Touch Technologies Yield More Personalized Responsive Architecture

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Touch technologies are now evolving, where sensors are being embedded in building features like doorknobs. And as a result, building doorknobs are becoming able to read not just that there is a touch, but that the touch was comprised of certain fingers.

Technology

How Social Media Impacts Architectural Perception

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Due to social media, it becomes ever more possible to form a first impression of a place before ever having visited it in person. With social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, it becomes possible to broadcast “place” using photographs, video, or text-based commentary. Rarely is a place simply a place anymore — as events occur within such places that result in merging the physical with the virtual.

Technology

As Architectural Technology Does More, Will Occupants Like Doing Less?

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As architectural technology gains greater capability to do more, will occupants like doing less? Well, I think much of the debate revolves around two issues: control and privacy. And when these two issues are dealt with correctly, technology can serve to lift limitations — so occupants can do more of the things they want to do.

Technology

How Smart Windows Can Improve or Destroy Your Architectural Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

The placement of such smart windows will be paramount, as will attention to making sure technology isn’t getting in the way. You see, such a smart window is really all about what is going on inside of a room. But I question — what will happen if the window begins to use apps that also take into account what is going on in the nearby exterior? What if the window becomes more truly interactive?

Technology

Using Sensory Design with Tracking Technologies to Promote Health

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

What can you, as an architect, do with such data to help your occupants? And can architecture be the go-between that pulls from data which tracks health, to emitting environmental stimuli which promotes health? Well, I say the answer to the latter question is yes, and for the answer to the first question: read on.

Technology

Why Semi- Invisible Technonlogy Within Architecture Is Best For Occupants

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Perhaps it is the notion of having an invisible technology where functions are elevated within architecture because of it — but where side-effects and trade-offs are non-existant. To accomplish this, a holistic sensory design mindset is necessary, where you as a designer factor for a multitude of senses within your design. In this way, you will be aware of when technology issues a trade-off, and you will be able to correct it.

Technology

How the Emotiv Epoc Headset May Lead to Environment Mind Control

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

The notion of control within environments will be going through a shift. As such brain computers as the emotiv epoc headset continue to be refined in their development, it may be possible to assert environmental decisions with less physical action and more mental reliance.

Technology

How 3D Interactive Vision Can Impact Architectural Design — From an Augmented Reality Museum to Virtual Objects

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

3D viewing of objects is something that many designers (particularly architects) are always in search of doing better — for, building design models that take the form of physical prototypes or even virtual prototypes (as is built within the computer using digital media) most often become limited in what they can tell a designer about their designs.

Technology

How CAVE-CAD Can Improve Your Architectural Design for Your Occupants

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

CAVE-CAD is a great instrument for testing architectural designs in terms of how occupants will be likely to experience them. As an immersive testing and design tool, it is possible to make design changes on the fly while simultaneously analyzing how an occupant would respond to such change.

Technology

Get Design Insight from Roomba-Embedded Building Air Quality Maps

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Attention is paid to the visual senses as masses, materiality, and even lighting are carefully chosen for a particular design vision. But how do you as an architect target more intangible things, like building air quality?

Technology

When Lighting Interiors Hurt, it Impacts Your Building’s Effectiveness

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Lighting interiors can make a significant difference in carrying through the intent of how you want your building to function, whether it be a retail clothing store, a hospital patient room, a residential design or a school classroom.

Technology

A New Spin on Sense Technologies Can Boost Your Design’s Effectiveness

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

There are many times on this site where I write about new sense technologies that are evolving and making their way into the mainstream, and I often encourage you as an architect to think about unique and creative ways that you can integrate this technology into your design to make it better for your occupants — this is a distinction from simply using technology “just for the sake of using it”, but rather to use it when the time and place is appropriate so it can bring newfound innovation to your design vision.

Technology

Can This Multi Touch Interactive Table Help Architects Work Smarter?

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

New interactive tools are surfacing to help architects do their job better. One such tool is a multi touch 3-D architectural application which can be used as both an interactive table device and a larger scale screen projection.

Technology

More Efficient Building Systems Where RFID Antennas Can Communicate with HVAC Ducts

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

HVAC ducts are a very useful way to create a building wide antenna that can serve to help process incoming information from RFID antenna sensor networks that control various systems within a building. What this all means is that most of a building’s nervous system can go from being wired, to being wireless.

Technology

Smart Windows Mark the Path Toward the “Tunable” Smart Building

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

New technologies are emerging like smart windows that are not only making it more energy efficient and cheaper for occupants to run their smart building systems during different seasons of the year, but are providing a way to make occupants feel more comfortable as well.

Technology

From Interactive Billboards to Adaptive Building Surfaces

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Making wayfinding a better experience includes tackling issues that deal with timing, understanding the demographics of those that will experience that signage and a designer having a more intimate understanding of how people perceive, process, and respond. While more interactivity is emerging on the façades of commercial buildings, it becomes evermore important for designers to take a look at how such signage can better “harmonize” with those buildings upon which they rest.

Technology

“Just-in-Time” Interactive Surface Design Can Help Your Building (Video)

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Many times, people think of sensing technologies within architecture as a way for the building to pick up all kinds of cues from just the occupants, but that is only one part of how a building can read or interpret the language and context of what is happening within it.

Technology

Clothing as a Bridge Between Human Process and Architecture

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Your building can collect data from all of its occupants at any given time and begin to respond for the collective whole as well as each individual occupant — for instance, by understanding more about their human process of body temperature, blood pressure or movement speed and location.

Technology

How Flyfire is bringing Lighting Design into a Whole New Realm (Video)

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

You may already know what can happen when you start with just one pixel-like point when working with computers to design architecture in programs like AutoCAD or 3D Studio Max. But, what will happen when when that pixel-like point becomes more of an omni light in real life— a three-dimensional point in space that has the ability to harmonize with others of its own type?

Technology

How Kinetic Architecture Can Redefine Folding Space through Variation

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

With the redefinition of flexible space into what is now being called kinetic architecture, you as an architect need to go beyond movement to really think about what growth, expansion and contraction has the power to do. Furthermore, we can begin to bring forward what it might mean for architectural design when we think about a folding space — space transiently reconfigured through variation.

Technology

Use Communication Technology to Make Your Building Flex

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Communication technology is spreading and evolving at a faster and faster pace — particularly noticeable in office buildings. The nature of the way employees communicate is having radical effects on the way buildings work.

Technology

Learn How to Orchestrate Your Architectural Elements

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As an architect, once you get a good grasp on how the human senses really work and really develop a high design skillset, you should always be concerned with synergy and orchestration.

Technology

Revamping Architectural Acoustics using Computer Technology

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As technology develops with new ways to “visualize” your complex architectural designs, wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to fuse them together? Why not visually render a space capturing its light levels at a specific time of day while also aurally rendering how it will sound during a specific function?

Technology

Architecture and Technology: Exterior Lighting

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

It is interesting to note that lighting can significantly impact your building design as its qualities exaggerate or minimize architectural elements. For instance, shadows, color and brightness all play a part in displaying architecture’s form in certain ways.

Technology

See How Easily Your Design Can Generate Energy

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

The energy producing dance floor makes good use of human energy without making it seem like hard work for occupants. Ideas like these can be a fun way to make more energy efficient and interactive designs. (…just imagine an energy producing gym)

Technology

Merging Architecture with a Health Monitoring System

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Where is the middle-ground between going to the doctor’s office and taking care of your healthcare needs once going about your daily life? New technologies are surfacing to help you out – and once such technologies work out their kinks, it will be possible to merge architecture with a monitoring system to help you take better care of your health.

Technology

Beyond Fluorescent Lighting: The LED Light Bulb for Architectural Lighting Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As lighting technology continues to develop, architectural designers will be able to move beyond fluorescent lighting – toward the LED Light Bulb. Architectural lighting design is benefiting from awareness about energy consumption and health benefits of past, current and new lighting technologies.

Technology

The Evolution of Library Architecture

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Libraries have been undergoing the need for a facelift ever since the introduction of the computing revolution. This type of institution is providing for more than simply the borrowing of books. New functions are defining how libraries serve their communities as they continue to emerge.

Technology

Architectural Technology: Trade-offs and Imbalances

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As architectural technology tries to solve one problem it often creates another. For example, as lighting illuminates it often also emits heat; therefore, making the HVAC system work harder. The systems seem out of balance as one trades off side-effects with another.

Technology

Architectural Technology: From Information Age to “Sensemaking” Era

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Perhaps architecture could find new ways to influence occupant behavior. For example, a person might be persuaded to wait before their walk home based on heartbeat, medical history and a short predicted rainfall. Architecture could tie information together to form smart assumptions that inform occupants that might otherwise not know.

Technology

Architectural Skin as a Design Bridge

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Most building “skins” today are quite static. Instead of being a bridge that allows the exterior and interior to communicate, many building skins today serve to separate the interior from the exterior with only, if any, intermittent window openings. What if, instead, architects designed building skins to synchronize occupant environments with real-time occupant needs?

Technology

MEMS for Interactive Architectural Design

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) are tiny sensors that will embed within smart buildings, helping them reach greater interactivity. Already, such devices are projected to help buildings better interact with occupants.

Technology

How Architecture Technology Interacts With You

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

When designing technology into architecture it must be integrated – not just to fit in with the aesthetic effects of the architecture, but to also fit into the narrative of the place. All too often, technology sits where conversations should spark. Computers, televisions and even lighting technologies should enhance the functions they support.

Technology

The Collective Effect of Architectural Technology

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

As architectural technology becomes evermore pervasive, its collective effect upon humans will be evermore complex. For this reason, architectural design should lead technological advancement in a mission to redefine human-centered design.

Technology

Designing Architectural Technology with Nature

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Sometimes there is a fine line between technology and nature. That line can be as obvious as a window pane or as slight as an accent of green picked out in a textile pattern. There are many ways to integrate nature into an architectural design.

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Maria Lorena Lehman is an award-winning 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.

maria lorena lehman, as seen in...
featured posts
Design Process

How Design Fiction Can Help Your Design Iteration Process

As an environmental designer, it is important to make smart design decisions during your creative process – at all stages. This is where the practice of design fiction can be injected into your process, to help you formulate not just one design solution that you iterate; but a variety of possible solutions that you can compare, test, or explore quickly at the beginning of your concept formulation process.

Design Creativity

How "Unbuildable" Design Concepts Can Advance the Architectural Discipline

In history, there have been times when an “unbuildable” concept, only realized on paper, was paradigm shifting – as such concepts served to shift the mindset of the people toward greater innovative possibilities for the future. I still find it fascinating to see these “unbuildable” concept drawings from yesteryear, and then to think about how our current “unbuildable” concepts will impact the future of our present time.

Technology

How to Learn from the Future to Become a Design Pioneer

As is typical with the present-time, we are always in the midst of emerging trends. For designers, this means either following the trends or setting new ones by being well ahead of the curve. Environmental design is no different. As advancing technologies like virtual reality lead to augmented realty, or as interactive physical space leads to adaptive physical space, it becomes fascinating (and necessary) to question where these technological developments are heading.