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spECIAL MASTERCLASS: Design concept formulation

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How the Future of Concept Design for Architecture Will Change

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

‍Image Credit: © darkovujic | Fotolia

Concept Design: The Birth of New Methodologies

Many say that the most important phase of an architectural design is the concept formulation phase. Yet, many designers debate aspects related to architectural concept design – like what is the definition of a concept, what are the proper steps needed to achieve a concept, and what makes a concept design meaningful. While there are many ways in which to approach such topics, it becomes necessary to consider how concept design evolves.

As architectural technology advances, new architectural paradigms are born. Discoveries from other disciplines like neuroscience or nanotechnology play a role in shaping how designers visualize, design, and construct environments. For instance, as new findings in neuroscience shed light on how building occupants perceive, process, and respond to architecture – new methods arise that impact the design concept creation of that architecture.

Design Experimentation for Greater Personalization

Since architecture is becoming ever more adaptive, new strategies and methods are being developed to help designers formulate concepts that integrate new technologies, new scientific findings, and new design strategies. This is why, it is important to keep an experimentation mindset in play as you design each new project. While you may have a conceptual design process framework, there should be open windows of opportunity within the framework so you can explore design concept formulation in entirely new ways.

In this light, the future of concept design for architecture will require more real-time synchronization between building materials, technology, and nature. Design concepts that solve for a one-size-fits-all solution will likely involve into more personalized design concept formulations in the future. For instance, future design concepts will look into how occupants can transform as a result of experiencing the architectural design work. In other words, it may not be enough for a concept to only have one overarching meaning – it may also need to personally uplift the quality of life of each individual who experiences it in a different way.

10X Your Concept Design Solutions

As architectural designers evolve, architecture itself will advance. And part of this advancement includes the way in which concepts for architecture are created. In the past, many designers relied on an actual drafting board or physical model to articulate design ideas. While many designers today, rely on computerized 3D visualization tools to craft renewed design ideas. As the future of adaptive architecture takes shape, the way architectural ideas are visualized will likely continue to evolve. For instance, I can see more advanced uses for film, animation, and video as playing an important role within the concept design process. After all, this process aims to hone real-time interactive response between building and occupant.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to position your own architectural concept design work at the cutting edge, please visit the following webpage to learn about the 10X Concept Design Lab (my new and exciting design-lab program):

Click here to visit the 10X Concept Design Lab

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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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