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How to Use Architectural Geometry to Invoke a Sense of Awe (Slideshow)

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

A beautiful and often inspiring aspect of architectural design is its ability to connect with people on a deeper level, to inspire awe at just the right moment so that occupants can transcend the physical spatial elements by taking them on a more spiritual journey. For this reason, I always find it a good practice to ask what it is about architecture that can touch people in this way. How does it work? And why does it work?

Architectural scale, balance, color, and yes, geometry are all important factors that synergize to evoke the sense of awe in its observers. And as you will see in the following slideshow, geometry can be used in a multitude of ways to “move” people — whether that be to give them a moment of surprise, spark of inspiration, or even space for contemplation. Geometry is an element that cannot be overlooked in terms of its power to help architecture connect more deeply with its occupants.

Thus, each photograph within the slideshow below represents an answer to the following question:

How does geometry within architecture invoke a sense of awe?


Image Credits (in order of appearance): Flickr —Alicia-Lee-07, dysturb, seier+seier, Ishmael Orendain, IK’s World Trip, quapan.





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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