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

Gestalt Principles in Architecture: Achieving Design Balance

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

Image Credit: © Maxialfaro | Dreamstime

Architecture usually tries to achieve some sort of design balance, whether asymmetrical or symmetrical. In the midst of the design process, do architects consider certain laws or theories as relating to how humans perceive? Yes, architecture must take into account all of the senses – but can theories, like the Gestalt Principles, highlight why design works the way it does?

For instance, when viewing a building from almost all distances and perspectives, the observer may be pulling from one of the Gestalt Principles of visual perception. Such theories pick up on combinations of elements reflecting patterns like similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, and figure/ground. (Click here to see a great introduction on how such Gestalt Principles work.) When designing or viewing a building façade, for instance, I do think certain relationships surface between Gestalt Laws and architectural design.

Understanding how humans understand pattern and balance is quite an intriguing subject. Simply digging into why our brains are wired for symmetry can provide profound information for designers. How and why our brains consider all of the elements in a scene at once can help us understand why architecture is often “better than the sum of its parts”.

For architecture to achieve a certain kind of balance, designers must synchronize elements so each interacts with the other – eventually composing a kind of system. It is interesting to think that our brains can deconstruct such visual systems quite rapidly – although, at times, this may be a subconscious act. At its core, architecture is often made up of a rhythmic language that achieves balance through its use of elements. As architectural patterns fill the masses and voids of a spatial construction, some type of balance is usually an end-goal.

Because architecture is a composition of all the human senses, achieving a true design balance is a simple, yet complex, endeavor. By truly making such laws (like the Gestalt Principles) your own, architectural design success can become a groundbreaking and instinctive creative act.

...

NEXT STEP: YOUR DESIGN PARADIGM SHIFT

...

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 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
From The Studio

A Filmmaking Tool for Dynamic Architectural Design

The link between architectural design and film is an important one. But have you ever thought about using the tools and process that filmmakers use to help you visualize your architectural design during its initial concept development stage?

Sense of Place

Using New Mediums to Shift Architectural Paradigms

By exploring the poetics of space through writing, painting, and modeling or sculpting (digitally or by hand) – one discovers moments where space transcends to heighten human experience. The latter mediums are ways to capture this somewhat transient event; and through the act of capturing these, one can see more deeply into the dynamics of what makes a space transcendent.

Design Process

How to Analyze Your Sketchbook (to Grow Design Results)

Your sketchbook holds a world of useful insight that you can use to push your design process even further. Thinking is a critical part of design, and a sketchbook helps you to unlock how you can exponentially improve your own design thinking. How do you use your sketchbook to design? What pages are your favorite? And how can you strengthen your sketchbook system?