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How to Create Unique Design Ideas that Push Boundaries

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

‍Image Credit: © Pixabay


When working on design projects that always require high levels of creativity, there are times when designers hit a creative “wall”. This wall is not the same as having a complete creative block. Instead, this is a creative wall that seems to limit or cap further innovation. For example, have you ever felt that you were running out of creativity – where a sense of boredom or lack of excitement about your work surfaced? If so, you are not alone. Many designers hit a creative wall, but the expert designers know how to break through that wall quickly.


To make sure to not hit such a wall that can plateau your creativity, it is very important to keep a creativity journal. This is not only a place where you can sketch new design ideas. It is also a place where you can think through how your creativity is progressing. On the pages of your creativity journal, you can ask yourself critical questions about your projects, and you can score your innovation and flow states, as well as think through any lessons or takeaways from other projects that can inform future ones. Your creativity journal is a way for you to develop an ever-changing formula for what makes you most innovative. In other words, think of a creativity journal as doing much more than allowing you to develop specific design ideas, because it can additionally help you to hone the way in which you develop those ideas – so they really push for design progress.


As you work to create a beautiful, functional, and meaningful design that is also uniquely innovative, remember to stay in the moment as you are working. So often, designers are multi-tasking or rushing through design decisions because of looming deadlines. For this, it is wise to practice getting in the flow-state, where you are quickly making design innovation progress while also being very mindful to any design problems or opportunities that may arise. Meditation is a great practice to help you become more aware while designing – to ultimately help you to see opportunities that you could not see before. Your focus can become laser sharp, as you more easily create unique design ideas that push boundaries.


When not actively designing, there are times when you may arrive at an idea that sparks within you. You may also notice that many great and unique boundary pushing ideas are created by converging multiple variables. For example, you may find a very innovative design idea by converging an aspect of nature with an aspect of how humans experience emotion. At surface level, these do not seem to make any sense together, but when you really stop to think about them as impacting one another – they start to unveil unique design thinking.

In the end, it is important to stay on top of your creative game while striving to design unique multi-sensory design innovations. When you are able to unite these two (creativity and multi-sensory design), you will tap into the heart of what can make your projects most unique, beautiful, functional, and poetically meaningful.





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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