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.

...

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
blog article categoriesresearch designs

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
Virtual Reality

Virtual / Augmented Reality as Architectural Sensory Experience

The question remains: Can virtual reality be an architectural sensory experience? As you ponder the answer to this question, it is important to think first about how to define an architectural sensory experience.

Reviews

The Sensorial Designs of Claudio Silvestrin: Minimalism as a Catalyst of Deeper Expression

To experience the latest book by Claudio Silvestrin is to experience architecture on a more spiritual level. The book is entitled Claudio Silvestrin’s Timeless Italian Style Architecture Design Philosophy, and as I turned the pages to consciously experience his work, I savored the moments as they evoked peace, joy, and even spiritual sensibility.

User Experience

How Environment Design Impacts Human Performance

Even as you formulate the initial schematics for your architectural concept design, it is wise to comprehensively research not only what your occupant thinks they need now, but also how they would like to grow: physiologically, intellectually, emotionally, behaviorally, and even spiritually. This will help you to grasp how the environmental design’s behavioral language needs to adapt.