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How Do You Use Texture in Architectural Design

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

Image Credit: © Katch | Flickr

Texture has long been used by architects to breathe life into buildings as well as to create a unique experience for occupant’s senses. Expressing the true quality of materials, shaping an interior space or simply to articulate a pattern; texture is a fundamental tool existing to some extent in most all buildings – both good and bad.

The question becomes — how do you use it in your architectural design?

AN EXPERIENCE FOR ALL THE SENSES

Texture can be used intentionally to elicit occupant experiences. Most simply, texture can “mark” certain areas within a building by differentiating spaces; but, what happens when you place texture in such a way that it becomes more of an interactive experience?

Inviting occupant touch, altering a space’s sound or using texture with lighting to play with architectural shadows can all create some meaningful effects. When you consider it, texture can also be used to accomplish even more complex problems.

REFINING YOUR ARCHITECTURAL LANGUAGE

As you know, texture can take on many scales and intensities. Texture variation can be used to emphasize certain elements and deep textures can become elements in themselves.

As we move onward to incorporate new innovations within architecture, what role do you think texture might have? Do you think the use of texture will change as components becoming smaller, more dynamic and interactive?

My guess is that texture will be used by architects to create more complex architectural languages. The juxtaposition between both digital and natural materials will certainly emphasize textures via patterns and rhythms. In addition, texture between the two will call for varying degrees of occupant touch.

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NEXT STEP: YOUR DESIGN PARADIGM SHIFT

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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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