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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.


Use Computation as a Catalyst for Architectural Innovation


Maria Lorena Lehman


Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy


Within architectural design, computation is used in varying roles. This micro-lecture aims to get you thinking about how computation can be used strategically — to act as a catalyst that fuels more sophisticated and innovative design solutions. In fact, this micro-lecture showcases four key ways that computation can integrate into your design process to help throttle your design vision further to help improve your architectural innovation. Watch this micro-lecture now to advance the role computation takes within your architectural designs.



00:05 Maria Lorena Lehman: I’m Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of Sensing Architecture, and in today’s micro lecture, I’m going to teach you how to use computation as a catalyst for architectural innovation. So we’ll begin with innovation here, and innovation in this sense is when new and better solutions to current and future problems can be created. We are targeting innovation as designers often, and to do this in today’s world we turn to computation as a key tool which actually becomes a catalyst to help us solve for problems with design. And keep in mind that problems can vary in complexity, and solutions can vary in sophistication. Now as computation is used as a catalyst for architectural innovation, we will now take a closer look at four key ways in which computation can be used to progress innovation.

01:24 MLL: The first way computation can be used as a catalyst is in the design process. This is where you as an architect use computers, 3D visualizations, software to actually make your design decisions within your computer software. So the design process works hand in hand with computation through certain phases. The second way computation can be used as a catalyst toward innovation, is with regard to construction methods. One can use computation to design and create for new construction assemblies, and this of course can go back to impact design process in the way in which decisions occur. So each of these ways that computation is used as a catalyst impact one another, as you can see here. Now the third way computation is used as a catalyst toward innovation is in regard to design parameters, and this is where the author of an environment can actually design a set of rules that shape the solution or response to an architectural problem set. So computation in this regard can actually help an architectural author or designer with design process and construction methods to take part in having a role in the design realm. The fourth way computation can act as a catalyst toward innovation is of course, through immersion. By being able to experience a design before it is ever constructed and used, new experiences can be designed to help uplift quality of life for occupants.

03:34 MLL: So as you can see these four methods where computation is used as a catalyst toward innovation can tie with one another into a comprehensive design process, or they can work as stand-alone methods that use computation in unique ways. And of course all of these can feed back into the way computation is being designed and how it is evolving as it is being used as a catalyst, again, to solve for those problems with design. Whether those problems vary in complexity, and whether the solutions vary in sophistication, the idea is to use computation to come up with innovative and comprehensive solutions to our current and future problems. So when you design as an architect, keep this in the front of your mind, how are you using computation in your designs? Is it merely a mirror of your architectural design thought and vision, or do you actually use it as a catalyst that helps you to grow and change and evolve your architecture?

04:58 MLL: Thank you for watching, I’m 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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