contact maria lorena lehman

send your message

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

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.


Top 3 Ways to Leverage Technology When Designing


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

‍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
blog article categoriesresearch designs

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.

maria lorena lehman, as seen in...
featured posts
Professional Practice

How to Create Competitive Advantage and Win Clients with Designs You Are Proud Of

There are a lot of architectural design firms out there, and everyone thinks their designs are unique. But clients are not just buying “good-looking” and unique designs that are functional; they care about building designs that bring value to their bottom line — helping their building occupants thrive.

Sense of Place

How to Make Design Innovation Stick by Unlocking Authenticity

Each project challenge comes with its own unique situation. Everything from a site analysis to an understanding of the surrounding culture is necessary to unlock what will make your architectural design stand authentically as a solution that is both innovative and complementary to the inherent context which came before. But how do you ensure that your design approach and subsequent solution is both innovative and authentic? Can both conditions exist at the same time?

Video Micro-Lectures

How to Avoid this Common Architectural Technology Integration Mistake when Designing

When designing, how do you avoid this common architectural technology integration mistake? In this Micro-Lecture, you will learn three steps to help you holistically inject emerging technologies into the environments you design. These steps serve to heighten your project's sensory design performance for occupants.