contact maria lorena lehman

send your message

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

spECIAL MASTERCLASS: Design concept formulation

AHA MOMENTS, GUARANTEED.

Join Now to learn my HPA Design Formula to improve your architectural design concept formulations. This formula will help bring your mindset, skillset, and project design results to new heights. Plus, get the Design Insight Digest, FREE.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW

Can Architectural Features Help Your Brain?

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

Image Credit: © Icefields | Dreamstime

When traveling through space you use certain cues to help you navigate. Your senses help determine things like orientation, distance and direction. During navigation, many moments arise for decision-making and your brain is a key player during this process. Within a building, architectural features send signals during the navigation process. The brain uses sensorial cues to help you travel within an environment – providing you with enough information to find your way.

In the interesting article entitled Getting Lost for Better Architecture, occupants are said to navigate, interact and then form “cognitive maps” in order to understand location within space. This article describes how researchers tested human subjects by having them travel through a virtual building while recording their brain function. Ties were made between what the subject saw and their brain response to those signals.(1)

Such research is fascinating because findings reveal how humans experience space. For instance, this research uncovered that humans use the “angle of incoming sunlight” as a primary cue for navigation. Of course, within architecture this cue is often eliminated.(1)

You might wonder how occupants interact within their environment to find such navigational cues. For this, it is important to understand what goes into the mental mapping of an architectural space – forming a mental image of that space as it is experienced. Of course, a mental map is also a consequence of occupant decision-making during that experience. For this, we can also use virtual reality – to uncover how the decision-making process works within architecture in real-time.

Although the applications may seem endless, such research will definitely give architects greater understanding into how the human perceives architectural features. Findings are sure to be quite enlightening.

Reference:

(1) Nelson, Bryn. Getting Lost for Better Architecture. MSNBC Dec. 15. 2008.

...

NEXT STEP: YOUR DESIGN PARADIGM SHIFT

...

TESTIMONIALS

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
read more testimonials
journal article collectionsresearch designs

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.

maria lorena lehman, as seen in...
featured posts
User Experience

How Architectural Poetics Improves Human Performance

With the design of each built environment, it is possible to help make the world a better place for individuals, the collective, and the planet. The key is to rise as architectural designers to create poetic architecture, not mere status quo buildings. You see, it is with poetic architecture that environmental design can awaken potential to nurture the self-actualization of those it serves.

From The Studio

How to Enhance Your Design with a Creative Spark

How often do you capture a "creative spark"? The key when modeling a creative spark is to create an MVM, a Minimum Viable Model, that quickly tests your creative spark. This initial physical model is a quick handmade prototype to help yield proof of concept: built to see if this creative spark has depth for further development.

From The Studio

Structure of Gravity: The Rise of Architecture

The above close-up section of a recent environmental drawing I created explores what I call the structure of gravity. This paradoxical term speaks to the bridging of architecture between the earth and sky – as built form rises upward as if to collaborate with the science of gravity through the structure of design expression.