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Music, Experience and Your Architectural Designs

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

Can Music Increase Your Potential?

What role does music play in your work as an architect? Do you listen to it while you design? Or do you incorporate it into your architectural designs, for your occupants?

In an article recently published by The Boston Globe, Carolyn Y. Johnson writes about a surgeon who listens to music while he operates. Also, he is conducting various studies to really understand what effect music has on both doctors and patients. In addition to improving the results of surgery, he thinks music might also be used for other types of medical treatments. (1)

For example, while listening to Mozart, patients needed less sedation, had “reduced stress hormone levels and had lower blood pressure(s) and heart rate(s)” than those that heard nothing. Similarly, Mozart proved to be quite a success when measuring the performance of surgeons. Their accuracy was notably improved. (1)

Architects Take “Note”

This type of research will provide great information for architects to utilize for their work. Both in architectural offices and within architectural schools, you will most likely find music playing — if not aloud then through headphones. During some creative challenges, music might actually help you (plus, different genres can provide you with different results).

If music plays a part in your design process already, well then, you’ve found something that is now being proven to work. And if music works for you — just imagine how it might work for the occupants in your building. There are all kinds of innovative ways in which to incorporate music into your design. It can impact experiences, functions and aesthetics on so many levels.


(1) Johnson, Carolyn Y., Musical Surgeon Examines the O.R. Soundtrack


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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