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How to Find a Challenging Design Solution When You’re Stuck

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

When you are working on an aspect of your design where you just don’t seem to be making headway on finding an elegant solution, try shifting to something else for a while — or if it’s the end of the day, simple leave it as what you will tackle first thing the next day. By leaving the design problem, think of it as still “facing you”. So, take a break or sleep on it overnight, and when you return to it the next day — the design problem’s solution will present itself to you. This works for me time and time again. For example, while building a model during a design stage, I would leave the unanswered portion of the design problem that was taking me too long to solve by literally facing the physical problem area toward my empty desk chair just before leaving studio. Sure enough, the image of it “facing me” allowed me to ruminate on the design problem even while I was away from the office. And sure enough, the answer would usually present itself to me upon my return.

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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 an award-winning 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.

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