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Buildings That Make You Think

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

‍Image: toprankonlinemarketing | Flickr

As interactive architecture gives way to adaptive architecture, it becomes important to understand how a more responsive space impacts its occupants. That is, does it make decisions for them? Or, does it provide choice to get occupants to think more carefully about their own decisions? Perhaps, the adaptive architecture can decipher when to do each — giving occupants the best of both worlds.

You see, as a designer of adaptive architecture, you may not want your design to do everything for your occupants. There are some things that occupants either like to do, or need to do, themselves. For example, technologies integrated within an adaptive architecture might suggest ordering food from the grocery store; however, it is ultimately up to the occupant as to which exact food to buy. Allowing for occupant choice in this case takes into account occupant mood, taste, and budget.

So, as you design with new interactive technologies, think about whether they make their occupants think. Do they remove decision-making from the occupant? Or do they strategically get their occupant to think smarter about the decisions they make?

Remember — by getting an occupant to think smarter, you could be encouraging behavior change with your design. Suddenly, your design is helping its occupants to make more informed decisions, and this can lead to happier and healthier quality of life.

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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 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.

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