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special encore webinar presentation

Register for the FREE Special Encore Webinar Presentation that will teach you three techniques for creating extraordinary design concepts that outsmart problem complexity.


How Design Concept Fuels Architectural Innovation


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy


What boundaries do you push when formulating an architectural design concept? In this video micro-lecture, you will learn how to create architecture that is not only more innovative, but also life-changing for occupants. By understanding what to aim for during design concept formulation, you can maximize your design’s positive impact. This micro-lecture will teach you how to use this stage as a leverage point in your design process.



00:00 Maria Lorena Lehman: I’m Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of Sensing Architecture and the MLL Design Lab. In today’s micro-lecture, we are going to take a closer look at design concept formulation, because this is a critical stage to get right, during your architectural design process. It is during this stage that you will set the tone for how innovative and how life changing your architectural design will be for its occupants.

00:35 MLL: So today, we are taking a closer look at design concept in architectural design. Now design concept formulation can occur for both projects that will be unbuilt and it can occur at the beginning stages of projects that will be constructed, and depending on which path you take for your design concept formulation within your design, you can choose to integrate aspects like economics, physics or technology to different degrees.

01:15 MLL: In fact for design concepts for unbuilt works, you can actually push certain boundaries economically, physically and technologically that you may not be able to push otherwise when building a work that will be, in fact, constructed. So it’s important to do both exercises to help you think beyond current boundaries or limitations that may be economic, physical or technological and in doing this you can actually help push the way architecture evolves.

01:55 MLL: Now, an important relationship to note here is the relationship between design concept and technology. Within this relationship, you may notice that when designing you may often feel a bit limited with where technology is or is not today, but don’t let that stop you from thinking beyond its current limitations. You see, architectural design can be very powerful in that it can guide technology and help spark ideas for future technological inventions that can be integrated into architecture to help uplift quality of life for occupants. So the cycle occurs where architecture can guide technology, and then technology can enhance architecture as it becomes integrated into our built forms and environments.

02:54 MLL: So don’t be limited by what technology cannot do today, because your concept innovations can guide it to do even more tomorrow. So when doing all of this, when formulating your design concepts, it’s important to think about how you can transform lives for the better through your designs. Think about how you can make things easier, how you can make things more meaningful, how you can make life more beautiful, healthier, or how you can design something smarter, so that there’s a smarter way to do something. So in doing all of this, you are working with your design concept to not just create a status quo building that meets bare minimum programmatic needs. You’re trying to find ways to improve, to help architecture evolve to that next level, so we can guide technology and other limiting aspects that might rule out certain solutions today, so that we can create and carve the path for more innovative solutions for tomorrow.

04:20 MLL: If you would like to learn more, I invite you to join my Design Insight Newsletter and you will also get my book, Bringing Architecture to the Next Level, for free. Discover how you can shift your mindset to reach breakthrough ideas, meet and predict occupant need using sensory design, leverage your design process, so you can get more with less, and rethink new technologies to unleash your innovative edge. To join now and access your book, simply visit


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 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...
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