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Why Architecture Can Make a Positive Difference in an Occupant’s Life

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

‍Image Credit: © rox sm | Flickr

Architecture surrounds occupants, it engages them, and it guides them. A well designed work can make an experience brighter, livelier, happier, and more meaningful. So, why are so many buildings today designed at the status quo, where they are there to meet the bare essentials? Perhaps it is because many architects today do not think in terms of holistic design thinking.

You see, holistic design is a work that considers all of the senses. It is a place where aspects like attention, focus, learning, and memory have been addressed. Holistically designed places can be soothing, comfortable, inspirational, and even beautiful.

The main idea is to not get rid of function in hopes of amplifying aesthetics. No. The main strategy is instead, to further unify function with aesthetics — where each is designed consciously from the perspective of all the senses. In doing this, an architectural design will be richer and more universal, being able to meet the needs of both the individual and the collective.

So, I invite you to think in terms of a holistic design perspective. Understand that this is the true language of how humans perceive, and that is the language which you should use to best communicate with your building occupants. After all, that is how you will make a positive difference in their life, by designing to meet their needs in a way that contributes proactively to the very aspects of life they wish to experience.


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 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.

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