Architecture Focus

Studio Mission


 MLL is rethinking architecture
to actualize humanity's highest potential.

Architecture as Soulscape

A message from Maria Lorena Lehman


Painting Consciousness


When creating a work of art, what is being painted?

Is it the paper? Or is it the artist?

Within my research-based studio practice, I use the act of painting to discover new dimensions of my own consciousness toward enlightenment. As I paint on watercolor paper, I am aware that I am also being “painted” by the unique marks I orchestrate. Once completed, each of my paintings becomes an artefact revealing a consciousness snapshot on my path toward becoming my highest self.

On this artistic journey to awaken my consciousness more deeply, it is architectural light, materiality, and form that emerges from the “dance-like” marks I make as I paint. The act of painting emergent architecture, where each mark is in a dance with me as it “paints” my consciousness, leads me to discover new realms to advance research and design of adaptive sensory architecture. Thus, I awaken to deeper consciousness as I paint, and discoveries made during the process of painting each piece, help me to advance my research and design development on the “Architecture of Consciousness” for the future of our built world.


Humanity's Quantum Leap


Our 21st century innovations help humanity to create with latest technologies and scientific findings. Yet, I am greatly intrigued by the painting methodologies from 40,000 years ago that awakened the evolution of human consciousness.

With this pre-historical reference, I am referring to Cave Art.

By using fire within caves that emitted a flickering light, early prehistoric artists experienced how cave wall contours “dance”, and upon them they painted animals – speculated to reveal the first signs of human anticipation.

Above Image: By Prof saxx - Own work, Public Domain,


The Power of Anticipation


“Jacob Bronowski states, "I think that the power that we see expressed here for the first time is the power of anticipation: the forward-looking imagination. In these paintings the hunter was made familiar with dangers which he knew he had to face but to which he had not yet come.” [Cave Painting: Wikipedia, Accessed on: September 19, 2022.]

After 40,000 years, it is time to seriously ask ourselves, as a humanity, the following question:

What is the maximum and optimal good we can do with our ability as humans to “anticipate” – to have “forward looking imagination”? In other words: How can we "paint" deep consciousness to “anticipate” better futures?

My design research seeks to answer the latter question through architectural design, to help progress humanity’s next quantum leap.

A New "Cave" for the Soul


Paintings from YOUtopia, one of my research case study projects, use water to granulate paint pigment in ways that create an ethereal flickering of light on rough paper to contribute toward the design of a new type of “cave,” called SoulScapes.

SoulScapes are imbued with an aliveness of contour and depth that turns the emergent places I create, into environmental illuminations for the soul to awaken into deeper consciousness.

As humanity’s need to “anticipate” becomes more complex due to the many profound challenges and significant opportunities in our rapidly-changing world, it is the Soulscape that brings us back to our most authentic origins – where humanity can actualize our highest potential.

Each Soulscape project I create is an emergent guide that awakens my highest self, to raise my consciousness to compassionately create at local and global scales to help all thrive. For example, within each YOUtopia painting, the Burgundy Red Ochre color is used for two primary reasons: (1) to carry forward the echoes of prehistoric cave art that also used this reddish-brown earth pigment, and (2) to celebrate humanity as symbolized by this reddish-brown color within the broader context of the surrounding architectural built world as depicted with black and lavender.

The juxtaposition and convergence of these latter colors allows each YOUtopia painting I create to embody the paradoxical relationship we have as people with our built world – as the “places” we shape, shape us in return.

While prehistoric cave art helped early humans to use their forward-looking imagination to survive, it is the Soulscape that helps us to wisely actualize what to do with this inner power today: by deepening consciousness in ways that harness creative compassion to “anticipate” a world of peace, joy, and love.


Towards a New Renaissance


My aim is to use research for the development of Soulscapes as Metaphysical Design to shape our world so we can reach an evolutionary level of such creativity and health that all transcends into harmonious synergies that yield worldwide thrivability.


Want to Join?

If you would like to join the (r)evolution of environmental design for a better world, then I invite you to enroll in the Architectonomy School of Poetics. Learn to rethink the future of transcendent environments within the Architectonomy Academy, based on award-winning design research by Maria Lorena Lehman, founder of MLL Atelier LLC. To learn more about how to enroll in the Architectonomy School of Poetics, simply click on the following button: