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


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Elevator technology reduces occupants from taking the stairs --- some may find this helpful while others need the exercise. Image Credit: © Dreamstime

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.

You see, with technologies that monitor occupant behaviors through the objects they use and through the routines with which they engage daily, less is private and control points are being streamlined. This means that as technology develops, care needs to be taken to incorporate control and privacy solutions — so that occupants do indeed like feeling less limited — without worry, frustration, or boredom.

We stand in prime position today because with advancements in architectural technology come great strides in our ability to uplift occupant lifestyle. Technology certainly does make things easier — at least until there is a glitch or it has to be maintained or upgraded. But all in all, our relationship with architectural technology is still good, as long as it is integrated into an architectural design correctly.

The key is for such technology to help occupants reach their goals, whether they are daily or lifetime milestones. And to do this it is important to “integrate” it correctly into a design, rather than to just “apply” it as an afterthought.

Truly revolutionary technology that can uplift our lives may be right around the corner, but just know that it will likely not only strive to remove us from our present-day “chores”, but will also help us to predict and plan for better lives by making better decisions.

So, will occupants like doing less as technology advances? Maybe the answer isn’t about doing less — but rather, it is about doing more in life with less limitations. Hence, I think people want to do more, to live fully, but to do it with less limitations — and this is something with which the architectural technology of tomorrow can help.


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 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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