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

How to Know When Your Project is Complete: From Satisfaction to Fulfillment

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

‍Image Credit: © Foundry | Pixabay

A SURPRISING QUESTION

I was surprised by the number one question architects asked me during a recent survey I conducted. They wanted to know “Should I ever be completely satisfied with my architectural design project? And how do I know when to be satisfied with it?” These are both very good questions, and they each led me to think even more deeply about my own creative design process. The following is how I think about design project completion and satisfaction.

TWO BETTER QUESTIONS

As a designer, you always want to feel that you did your best to solve for a given design challenge. And you want to feel that your design will help people to uplift their lives in new way(s). But how do you know when to feel satisfied with your design? In other words, how do you know when it is complete?

First, I would like to exchange the word “satisfied” with the word “fulfilled”. It may help you to think about how your design project fulfills your vision, your efforts, and your clients/occupants’ needs. To me, the word satisfied seems to imply that your design project is “good enough”, while the word “fulfilled” implies that the design project is meeting a higher standard that pushes you, as a designer, to stretch and grow your talents and skills. With this in mind, it may help you to ask a different question: “How do I know when my design is fulfilling its potential? And how do I know when I am fulfilling my potential as a designer?” The two latter questions are deeper questions, that will help you as an architect to create a compass by which to create “next level” architectural designs.

THE ANSWER

Of course, you can always work to improve your design solution – making it better and better through your iterative design process. And this can happen within one project, or over the course of your career (from project to project). As you may know, design is a process, and finding the solutions that work within your process is key to reaching a “completion point” within a project’s design development.

This leads us to the following answer:

Yes, it is great to reach a point within a project when your design has fulfilled your clients/occupants needs, your own needs to stretch your talent and skillset, and your career goals to grow as each project you do is better than the last. Experience helps you to learn, grow, and evolve as a designer. You should strive to reach that important “fulfillment point” in a project where it brings significant innovative benefits. I think this type of fulfillment is best to use as a measure of “completeness” – rather than your own fuzzy measure of personal satisfaction.  For me, fulfillment brings a certain type of satisfaction but also a motivation and inspiration to do more – perhaps, even better.

TARGETING THE "FULFILLMENT POINT" (MICRO-LECTURE)

 

...

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 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.

maria lorena lehman, as seen in...
featured posts
User Experience

How Environment Design Impacts Human Performance

Even as you formulate the initial schematics for your architectural concept design, it is wise to comprehensively research not only what your occupant thinks they need now, but also how they would like to grow: physiologically, intellectually, emotionally, behaviorally, and even spiritually. This will help you to grasp how the environmental design’s behavioral language needs to adapt.

Adaptive Architecture

What if Architecture Fused with Game Design?

Is all of life a game-like journey? Or is the journey more of an experiential process with no real end-goal? Whatever life seems to be at a given moment, it is interesting to consider what physical environments would be like if they were designed with a gaming mentality.

Virtual Reality

How to Leverage Virtual Reality (VR) Within Your Design Process

I invite you as an architectural designer to unlock the power of 3D to 4D visualization. Going from 3D visualizations to interactive 4D immersive VR experiences of your design projects (with sound) will convey your concept ideas better by making your multi-sensory design interventions come to life in more tangible ways.