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Learn How to Orchestrate Your Architectural Elements

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

Image Credit: © MarcelGermain | Flickr

Yes, I often write that you should think about the senses, materiality and so on. But I would like to emphasize that as an architect you are a “director” of sorts. It is important to learn how to synchronize and orchestrate all of those architectural elements to create the experience you intend.

As an architect, once you get a good grasp on how the human senses really work and really develop a high design skillset, you should always be concerned with synergy and orchestration.

Here is what I mean…

Lighting + Material = Redefined Form

The equation I just made up above is an example of how powerful (and simple) this idea can be. Take a building like the Torre Agbar in Barcelona and you will get a notion of what I am talking about.

Using technologies to enhance, minimize or morph your architectural elements can be a very effective technique. Most architects today simply “add-on” new technologies to their design. Kind of like the architect said “I’ll include this because I can.” The result is that it is not well integrated and does not do much for the design. In some cases, it actually makes the design worst.

SOME DESIGN TIPS

Take the simple equation that I wrote above and get this to challenge and push the way you think when you are designing a building. Ask yourself about what other technologies you could insert into the “lighting” variable shown above. Also, question what other architectural element types you could insert into the “material” variable shown above.

Although the “Redefined Form” variable in the equation above may not physically move or morph, your technologies often can. Think of ways to integrate new technologies into your architectural design to help bend, enhance, texturize, highlight or soften architectural elements.

Think about how doing this will make the building a better experience.

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NEXT STEP: YOUR DESIGN PARADIGM SHIFT

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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.

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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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