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Top 3 Ways Design Becomes a Global Collaboration

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

‍Image Credit: © Free-Photos | Pixabay


It is important for architectural designers to each do their best as they work to solve for local and project-specific challenges, and reach their own vision and goals for a given project. But it is also important for architects to take a more global approach to design – where each project becomes a piece of a larger, more global, puzzle system. Yes, a design project can do its part to solve for local challenges, and can even do its part to create new local opportunities. But as designers we must go beyond the local to ask: How can this project give rise to more global solutions and opportunities?


· Start a Movement: With your design solution, you can spark new ways for building occupants to engage and grow by learning from the natural environment, from each other, or even from themselves. Your design can unlock opportunities that can evolve globally. Your design project does not have to be “copied” from place to place around the world to start a movement, it can simply exist in one place, yet it can appeal to people from around the world as it helps them to improve their lives in universal ways. Alternatively, your design can be evolved to fit with culture of place for people around the world, as its presence in different cultures helps the citizens there. Your design can launch a new way of doing, seeing, or being in the world.

· Create Building Networks: Imagine a world where buildings connect with one another in new ways that help people to thrive. Yes, as an architect you must design your building project so that it integrates both authentically and contextually with its surrounding local site. But what if your building could also integrate with other building projects – even ones across the globe? How would you think about your design? How would you design differently? By integrating your building project within a global site context, you will be creating environments that bridge across cultures. This bridging is a great way to design for a better world.

· Unlock Systems, Processes and/or Methods: Within your building design project, you can strive to unlock a system, process, or method by which to create or build architecture. This is a way by which to innovate architecture. For example, your project challenge may lead you to create a new design tool that can be used globally (beyond just one project), by many architects around the world.

As you can see, the above three ways to design for global collaboration are only the beginning. With your imagination and design creativity there are infinite possibilities. The key is to design with an eye toward both the local and global, to help multiply the positive benefits of your project endeavors.





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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 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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