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special encore webinar presentation

Register for the FREE Special Encore Webinar Presentation that will teach you three techniques for creating extraordinary design concepts that outsmart problem complexity.


How to Learn from Building Design Concept Examples


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy


In today’s micro-lecture, you will learn how to pull more deeply from building design concept examples that you reference. It is important to not copy another’s building design concept, because your own design challenge is likely to be very different, with its own unique complexities, requirements, and opportunities. Watch this micro-lecture to learn three critical ways to pull from what building design concept examples can teach — to inform the way you go about solving for your own design concept challenges strategically.



00:05 Maria Lorena Lehman: I’m Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of Be sure to visit this great education platform where, for free, you can download my book, “Bringing Architecture to the Next Level”. You’ll also get other great resources when you join for free as a Design Insight Member of Sensing Architecture.

00:26 MLL: In this micro-lecture, I’m going to teach you how to use building design concept examples to inform your own design solution. So you see, you start off a design, oftentimes by looking at other architectural works. And this can serve as providing you with design concept examples which feed you ideas. But the important thing to remember here is that these ideas are actually another designer’s solution to other design challenges that were presented to them for their particular project. So when looking at design concept examples, the key is to not copy what you see on the surface of the design, but to actually dig deeper, so that you can see more deeply into your own design challenge — because your own design challenge will bring with it other complexities, requirements and limitations and opportunities that looking at another designer’s design concept example may not have provided.

01:44 MLL: But when looking at other examples, be sure to look at their solution and the design challenge that their solution solves. And as you do this, you can look more deeply into your own design challenge from three critical angles. The first is that you can cut to the core of your design problem so that you know you’re going down the right path. By looking at other design concept examples, see how they formulated their concept and answered and solved their design challenge in the best way possible by cutting to the core of their design problem, and see how you can similarly cut to the core of your own design problem.

02:33 MLL: Number two is to find new ways to analyze your design’s context, so you can see what works and what does not work in those other design concept examples. See and imagine what other solutions the designer may have gone through, and what ideas may have been pushed further or not enough. And see how you can take what works and what does not work into your own design challenge as you solve for your own design challenge complexities.

03:13 MLL: And number three is to better understand the process of going from the visualization of a design concept to the actual real-world experience of that design concept. When looking at other designers’ building design concept examples, be sure to understand how the visualization of the concept was translated into real-world experience, so that you can make sure that when you’re designing your concept, you can translate that into a real-world experience that does not lose your original design vision and still integrates the over-arching quality and meaning of your original design concept. So again, as you’re looking into using building design concept examples to inform your own design solution, don’t just copy the style of another designer’s concept, don’t just take what you see on the surface and apply it to your solution, because your design challenge is likely to be different with other opportunities, complexities, and core problems. Instead, try to dig deeper, to understand that other designer’s process of design concept formulation.


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 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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