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 5 Ways to Grow Design Creativity In the Next Year

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

‍Image Credit: © www_slon_pics | Pixabay

As an environmental designer, it is ever important to lift your work to the next level. This means that you never settle into a design process plateau where creative growth remains stagnant. And as you work to inject multi-sensory design into your architectural creations, you keep your design vision, decision-making, and communication skills at their peak levels. This is why I created the following top 5 list of best ways to grow your design creativity in the year ahead…

  • Practice Creative Thinking Daily: Journal about your design projects by not only sketching, but also by writing about how to make them better. Great ideas are born while writing.
  • Schedule Brainstorming Sessions: Plan time within your design process to think of many possible solutions to a design challenge. Then, you can choose the best solution, or combine great ideas from various solutions into a super-solution.
  • Switch Design Tools: Use a different design tool to help you think differently about a design challenge and its solution. For example, if you use computers to create 3D still visualizations, then try creating a 3D animation of your design – or use a different kind of modeling software to generate the geometric forms.
  • Conduct a Portfolio Review: Analyze your previous projects within your portfolio with a strategic eye. Ask yourself: How can I make my next project even better? What has been missing from my previous designs that if I included in my next design, would bring my work to a heightened, greater, level?
  • Determine Your WHY: Spend some time figuring out why you do the work you do. By getting a deeper understanding into your purpose, you will unlock a more creative purpose for your design work that will resonate with clients and future building occupants.

Really, creativity is a practice that you must engage in to strengthen your design skills. While working on design projects, you pull from your creative skillset – but you also must grow creativity as you progress and advance as a designer over the longer term. Creativity is an important part of multi-sensory design, and is one that must be developed if one is to formulate extraordinary design concepts.


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 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
Design Process

Top 3 Ways to Grow Your Design Process to the Next Level

It is my hope that you take time to improve your design process. For this is the root of your architectural projects’ level of success. Thus, I invite you to begin with the the following three steps that will help you to tackle the core of what makes your design process work. After all, this is how your projects can evolve over time to reach those next highest levels.

Architectural Design

How to Design for Architectural Flow

Architectural flow is a higher-level poetic goal to reach as you design environments. After all, there is a significant difference between a building that houses a variety of independent functions that co-exist near one another versus a building that fosters functions that harmonize with each other as each leverages the other. This is an important characteristic of architectural flow – where an occupant narrative emerges from a well-designed environmental narrative.

Architectural Design

How to Design Environments beyond Function to Reach a New Level of Poetics

Designing occupant-centered architecture calls for designers to think about environments as providing more than mere comfort. For architectural design, this means striving to reach beyond functionality within your solution. Together with function, aesthetics and meaning must be fused. But how do these all work together to yield new kinds of poetics that innovate occupant experience to uplift quality of life for the better?