Avoid this Architectural Technology Integration Mistake when Designing

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Avoid this Architectural Technology Integration Mistake when Designing


When designing, how do you avoid this common architectural technology integration mistake? In this Micro-Lecture, you will learn three steps to help you holistically inject emerging technologies into the environments you design. These steps serve to heighten your project's sensory design performance for occupants.





How do you avoid this common architectural technology integration mistake? This is a mistake that often detracts from the sensory design that you're trying to inject into an environment to uplift its functionality and performance for occupants.


I am Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of the MLL Design Lab and of the Sensing Architecture Academy, and in this Micro-Lecture we're going to explore three key steps to avoid conflicting technology within your design.


Now, when technology conflicts within an architectural design, it can again detract from the very functionality that you're trying to uplift within the space. For instance, a simple window might be casting glare on a television or monitor that someone might be trying to watch. In this case, the first step to take to avoid conflicting technologies within your environment is to eliminate the negative impact of technology side effects. This means taking a look at the technology that you are integrating and this means --- yes, looking for opportunities that it creates, but also looking for side effects like glare from a window, or noise from a HVAC air duct. In other words, what are those sensory side effects that could potentially detract from the environment and its functionality for occupants within your space?


Now, step two is to eliminate the negative impact of side effects. And you do this by studying their timing as well as their location in relation to other technologies within the space. For instance, you might want to know when that noise is being emitted from that HVAC air duct and how that noise might impact a presentation within the room, or television watching, or conversations that might be going on within the space. Also, you might want to explore the timing of these events within the environment to make sure that the technologies are not conflicting with one another through their various side effects --- which again, create these problematic symptoms for occupants.


Now, step three is to delve into the occupant behavioral patterns within your space, so this entails uncovering any alignment issues. This refers to alignment that is not just in physical location, but that exists in terms of timing. So, you'll want to look at what behaviors and what functionalities are going on within the environment for your occupants.  What activities are they engaging in and how much is the technology detracting from those functionalities? So take a look at those types of behaviors and how they affect one another.


And then finally, you can flip this on its head and look at technology from the lens of opportunity as well. Instead of looking for side effects which are symptomatic and painful for occupants --- look at side effects as opportunities. Look for ways that technologies can work with one another to uplift the space from a sensory design perspective.


I hope this helps you to integrate technologies in a more holistic way that uses sensory design principles to help you uplift the performance of your environment for your occupants.

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.