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A Formula to Make Your Occupant’s Architectural Memories Last

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

‍Image Credit: © szeke | Flickr

Did you know that there is memory bias? That is, memory can be changed, boosted, or impaired. So, if this is the case: What makes building occupants form stronger architectural memories than others?

Well, according to a Memory Bias article in Science Daily, there are many ways that memory bias can occur – but there are three main aspects. They are humor, positivity, and self-generated memories. Each of these latter aspects can boost memory in people. So, with this, I wonder how these play a role in architectural design.

After all, there are times where a design can be funny (or fun). There are times when a design can accentuate the positive over the negative. And there are times when a design can help an occupant self-generate information to remember through the act of engaging with them more interactively. So, does it then become safe to assume that architecture that does these things will be more memorable? And memorable at the exact moment where these memory boosters occur?

As you design, you should ask yourself how your occupants are likely to remember your building and their experiences there after they have left. Are there places within your building where it is fun? Positive? Or engaging?

Thus, to design and build a memorable building you may want to strive for those three goals: a design that is fun, positive, and engaging. Your building will likely be more enjoyable to experience, will function better, and will leave a longer lasting impression on your occupants. And of course, a great reason to be concerned with leaving an impression upon your occupants is that it can be one of value, that brings them benefit well after they have left your building.

So, remember: Fun + Positive + Engaging = Memory Boost

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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 multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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