contact maria lorena lehman

send your message

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

spECIAL MASTERCLASS: Design concept formulation


Join Now to learn my HPA Design Formula to improve your architectural design concept formulations. This formula will help bring your mindset, skillset, and project design results to new heights. Plus, get the Design Insight Digest, FREE.


Top 3 Ways to Leverage Technology When Designing

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

‍Image Credit:  © Kantver | Fotolia

As an architect, it is important to guide your tools in a way that helps you see deeper into your designs. Yes, using 3D visualization tools do help you to make your initial design vision more tangible. But how can you go beyond this, to use technology to better formulate and analyze a concept during your design process? It helps to think creatively about different technologies as  they can become critical tools helping you to solve for particular design problems. The following are the 3 top ways to leverage technology when designing:

  • See deeper into your site analysis: Have you ever thought of using drone photography to help you experience your site from different perspectives? This is a simple, yet effective, example of how technology can be used to help you gain more profound  insight into the context of your design project. Furthermore, you can use such photography to create augmented reality fly-through animations. In this way, you can present "before and after" visualizations to better communicate your design concept ideas that tap into sensory design leverage points. 
  • See deeper into your concept design: Have you ever thought of trying a totally different design tool to better analyze your concept idea? Perhaps this means switching from hand-drawing to 3D computer visualization, or from 3D computer visualization to full-scale modelling? Sometimes as designers, we become overly dependent on one particular tool --- without realizing that it is constraining how we see a design problem and its solution. By freeing yourself to work with different tools, it can help you to see things differently. After all, certain tools require certain ways of thinking. When you switch technologies, you may be pleasantly surprised at the new insights you derive.
  • See deeper into your occupant's narrative: Have you ever wondered how you can better understand your future building occupant? In other words, how can you discover the true strengths and constraints in your occupants' lives as you construct their narrative? Well, wearable technology can help with this by giving you a "window" into your occupant's activities, habits, preferences, and so on. Perhaps an occupant narrative creation phase within your concept formulation process is just what you need to better detect those critical patterns for which your design will solve.

In the end, the key is for you to guide technology by using it as a tool by which to design smarter. Be creative about how you integrate such technologies. After all, a design breakthrough could be awaiting the right tool by which it will be discovered.





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
read more testimonials
journal article collectionsresearch designs

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.

maria lorena lehman, as seen in...
featured posts
Urban Design

Urban Architecture – A Design Process of Co-Creation

To view urban architecture as the result of a design process of co-creation fundamentally shifts how it can be used to bring higher levels of thrivability to citizens. By integrating citizen ideas, behaviors, and experiential insights into how such urban systems and elements adapt, the city becomes a more joyous, peaceful, healthier, and inspiring place to live. This is how urban architecture can help cities to reach these higher levels – by pulling from the wisdom and ingenuity of its citizens through its buildings, that together act as a bridge that opens communication between people and city.

Design Process

Schematic Design – Using an Occupant-Centered Design Approach

Schematic design is the first stage of an architectural design project, and within this phase there are important milestones to get right that will greatly leverage the project’s results throughout the rest of its impending design phases. For example, by iteratively designing through various schematic prototypes, it becomes possible to optimize one’s design concept idea in a way that prevents future errors and expands the discovery of new design opportunities.

User Experience

How Architectural Poetics Improves Human Performance

With the design of each built environment, it is possible to help make the world a better place for individuals, the collective, and the planet. The key is to rise as architectural designers to create poetic architecture, not mere status quo buildings. You see, it is with poetic architecture that environmental design can awaken potential to nurture the self-actualization of those it serves.