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How to Learn from the Future to Become a Design Pioneer

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

‍Image Credit: © Insspirito | Pixabay

BECOME AWARE OF HOW
YOU DESIGN WITH TRENDS

As is typical with the present-time, we are always in the midst of emerging trends. For designers, this means either following the trends or setting new ones by being well ahead of the curve. Environmental design is no different. As advancing technologies like virtual reality lead to augmented realty, or as interactive physical space leads to adaptive physical space, it becomes fascinating (and necessary) to question where these technological developments are heading. Of course, one cannot predict with absolute certainty about how a technology will eventually evolve or disappear; but one can visualize different futures that a technology can (and perhaps should) have. In this way, we can guide technology for environments, instead of having to always incorporate it “as is”.

FREE YOUR DESIGN MIND
TO UNCOVER NEW PATHS

I invite you as an environmental designer, whether you are an architect, interior designer, or concept designer for films or games, to find the golden thread between where technology is today to where it will be tomorrow. What do you envision for the future of virtual reality as it relates to architectural design? How do augmented spaces impact and influence the people that experience them, whether in the present-day or in the future? Where will biomimicry lead as we continue to learn from nature to design solutions for our most challenging issues today?

As you may expect, this exercise involves a bit of visionary thinking where an accurate prediction of the future is not the end-goal. Really, this exercise is meant to free your design mind – to help you more clearly see the “trends” with which you design for today. By studying and visualizing the future, you will better understand how to truly guide technology by making smarter design decisions with it. Begin by asking, where and how technology is leading us into the next 100 years, 50 years, and 10 years. Research, imagine, and be prepared to uncover new paths for technology you thought you completely understood.   

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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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