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Top 7 Ways Your Architecture Prototype Model Can Capture Transience


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy


In today’s micro-lecture, I will teach you the top seven ways your architecture prototype model can best inform your design vision and decision-making when trying to capture the transience or changeability of an environment. These seven prototype modeling methods are presented along a spectrum that helps you to decide which method will work best for your design process needs. Again, the aim of this micro-lecture is to expand your design skillset palette, so you can see more deeply into your transient designs through key prototyping modeling methods.


Micro-Lecture Transcript

00:06 Maria Lorena Lehman: This is Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of Sensing Architecture. In today’s micro lecture we’re going to explore the top seven ways to model or prototype architectural transience or change. Now, first we’ll begin by drawing a line that represents the spectrum, that on one side to the left is “representation analysis”, and to the right is “immersive experience”. So in other words, the seven ways to model or prototype architectural transience depend upon timing or speed. So, further to the left of the spectrum is more of an analysis mode of thinking, and to the right of the spectrum — this leans more toward an experiential way of thinking, and modeling, and designing. So, we begin with representation for analysis.

01:08 MLL: The first way to model or prototype architectural transience or change is through narrative text. This includes storytelling, which can be written or verbal, as you walk someone through what it would be like to experience such a transient space. The second way to model or prototype architectural transience is through drawing, of course. And this can include drawing through a series or sequence that captures motion. Now the third way to model or prototype architectural transience is with 3D printed, kinetic, or shape shifting sequences. So, this allows you to observe in three dimensions how your environment or design will look, so that you can make great design decisions as your design morphs in time. Now along the spectrum you can see that time is in a sense speeding up as it travels to the right. And this leads us to our fourth way to model or prototype architectural transience or change. And this is by actually using responsive technologies that are embedded in physical models. And this can include technologies like an Arduino Kit, for instance, which includes sensors, actuators, and some coding or programming that can make your physical architectural models come to life from a sensorial standpoint.

02:50 MLL: As we travel further to the right along this spectrum, we encounter film. Film is the fifth way to model or prototype architectural transience. With film, you can capture conceptual representations of an environment that does change in time. Now the sixth way to model or prototype architectural change or transience is through 3D virtual visualization or animation. And again as we’re traveling along this spectrum to the right, you can see that we’re going from representation, to more of an immersive experience. Which concludes with the seventh way to model or prototype architectural transience — which is by actually using responsive technologies in real-world scenarios. So this in a sense increases the scale of your prototype or model, and allows you to embed certain technologies that are transient and make space transient into existing spaces to test how they would work, experientially for future occupants. So, as you observe this spectrum of different ways to prototype transience for architecture, be sure to think about speed and time, and the level of analysis or experience that you need to attain from your prototype. In this way, you can best select which methods you will use as you formulate your design and bring it to life. Thank you for watching, this is Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of Sensing Architecture.


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 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.

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