How Concept Design Leads to Architectural Evolution

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‍Image Credit: © Kovalenko| Fotolia
‍Image Credit: © Kovalenko| Fotolia

It is important to challenge yourself to create extraordinary architectural concept designs. You see, architectural concepts help to not only improve the results of your own project, but they also can work to pioneer and guide the architectural profession, emerging technologies, and new design processes. Much innovation is born during the concept design phase.

 

Of course, a forward-thinking architectural concept design can work wonders to advance your project beyond the rest. After all, it is during the concept design phase that your architectural design solution can tap into new and innovative occupant experiences. In other words, the concept design phase sets the foundation for how aesthetic, functional, and meaningful your architectural design will be. 

 

But what if your architectural concept design idea cannot be built yet?

 

The architectural concept design idea that is experienced through painting, modelling, 3D visualization, or another form of architectural representation is not lost. In fact, there are concept designs that cannot yet be built — perhaps because the technology has not yet been developed, the materials needed are not in existence yet, or the design tools needed to further detail the idea are not in existence yet. 

 

An architectural concept design solution that is forward-thinking and innovative can do its own part to pioneer paradigm shifts within the architectural profession. Thus, an architectural concept can influence an architectural era – even if it cannot be built at first. It is in the quest to build such an architectural concept that innovation is born.

 

To create a design concept that pushes architectural boundaries to new heights, you must challenge your own design mindset by asking the right questions of your own design process. For instance, what if you could switch design tools to help you think about your design problem and its solution in an entirely new way? Or what if you could redefine the very functions that will occur within your environment by developing a concept design that uses technology or materiality in new ways? Perhaps your concept design can harmonize and represent nature in ways never experienced before.

 

An architectural concept design is your window by which to advance the architectural discipline. It is also your window by which to advance your own body of work. As your concept blooms from an architectural idea to a realized architectural experience, know that the time it takes to go from idea to built form is very important. This is where innovation occurs, either over short periods or long eras. 

 

Your architectural concept design provides a window into innovation. Thus, you should challenge yourself to create extraordinary design concepts that solve for your design problem in ways that allow you, your work, and the architectural discipline to progress. Evolution is key at all scales.

About the author

Maria Lorena Lehman

Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary artist, designer, and author focusing on links between environmental design, science, emerging technologies, and human potential. Lehman is founder of MLL Atelier, an art-based architectural design research practice. Maria Lorena Lehman is author of the award-winning book entitled, Adaptive Sensory Environments. She is recipient of the Harvard University Digital Design Prize for the "most creative use of digital media in relation to the design professions". Lehman also creates sculptures and paintings described as "visual poetry of motion that is a new inspiration" by Daniel Smith, the company that creates watercolors for artists worldwide. Maria Lorena Lehman holds the degrees of Master in Design with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture, Cum Laude, from Virginia Tech. She is internationally published and in numerous periodicals, including The Architect's Journal, Esquisses Magazine, Architect Magazine and Forbes.