Over 500+ article essays by Maria Lorena Lehman

To Design for Perception – Create Interdisciplinary ‘Bridges’

design process

Discovering the World Anew

As a designer, where do you find inspiration? Furthermore, how do you find new ways by which to push architectural design innovation? For my futurological design projects, I am greatly driven by using what I call “interdisciplinary bridges” to unlock new ways of understanding our surrounding world.

Architectural design is constantly asking its creators to design for perception in new and unique ways that uplift quality of life for the better. And for this, interdisciplinary bridges are a key methodology I use within my creative design process. By delving into other disciplines with an open mind, it becomes possible to ask questions within the framework of the complementary discipline, and to then bring unique and sometimes paradigm shifting discoveries back to the environmental design discipline. In doing this, I am able to see the world through the lens of another, and then bring my own unique questioning and research approach to how I bring back lessons from other disciplinary realms.

Asking Better Questions

Yet, I also question the very design process that I work to evolve with each new project I do. I ask questions including: How can I as a designer make a better bridge by which to see my design more deeply? Or how can I ask better questions of my design solution to grow its positive impact within the world? For both of the latter questions, a multidisciplinary approach helps – yet, I still search for even better methodologies.

Evolving Beyond the Bridge

Perhaps through direct observation or experience I can pull discoveries back into my own design work, thereby using my own experience of nature, people, or places to inform how I innovate design anew. Remember, an interdisciplinary bridge is simply one way to evolve how you innovate architectural design for human perception. While an infinite number of ways exist by which to hone a creative process, it is through interdisciplinary bridging that communication occurs between fields. Thus, I ask: How can we as designers make better interdisciplinary bridges? Or how can we evolve beyond the ‘bridge’ to find even deeper moments of overlap, convergence, or synchronicity to help us solve for our biggest world challenges?

Your Next Step:



Sign up for the MLL StudioWorks Newsletter to get special insider access into latest artworks, book publications, creative design processes, new inspirations, teaching resources, and upcoming exhibitions.