Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Quality Learning Environments: Design-Studio Classroom

Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Quality Learning Environments: Design-Studio Classroom

Article excerpt


Design education requires a specific setting that facilitates teaching/learning activities including lecturing, demonstrating, and practicing. The design-studio is the place of design teaching/learning activities and where students/students and students/instructor interaction occur. Proper interior design improves not only the function of such learning environment but also the confidence of its users involved in the teaching/learning process. This study finds impetus in the lack of research data relative to the design of the design-studio classroom, most crucial space in design and architectural education. The purpose of the study is to examine the design-studio classroom environment and to determine, by the perception of its users, to which level this specific environment assures users' needs and objectives. A survey was developed and distributed to a purposive sample of design and architecture educators. Ninety four responds were collected. The results of the study support the stability of earlier findings that the physical environment has a direct impact on the satisfaction of the space users. The findings suggest that lighting, noise, glare, air quality, temperature, seats comfort and possibilities of arrangement are all essential environmental features in the achievement of an appropriate pedagogic environment. Likewise, it was found that designated workstations are important part of the teaching/learning process of design. It also emerges from this study that lighting is the most important feature.

Keywords: design-studio, design education, interior design, learning environment

1. Introduction and Purpose

It is becoming more evident that learning environments such as schools and universities are less equipped to fulfill students and instructors pedagogic needs than other environments (Lyons, 2001). More often than not, learning environments are uninteresting and uninviting (Kennedy & Agron, 2004). Research findings suggest, however, that a high quality interior design improves not only the function of a learning environment but also the confidence of its users involved in the teaching/learning process (Webber, Marini, & Abraham, 2000).

The interior design of spaces such as offices, dining halls, libraries, auditoriums, and classrooms should satisfy the minimum requirements of making these spaces more functional, healthier, and more enjoyable. Students and instructors suffer from interior problems of classrooms such as inadequate lighting, noise, glare, poor air quality, inappropriate temperature, uncomfortable seats and inflexible seating arrangement (Rydeen, 2003). The classroom is the most important area in a school. It is an environment that includes various aspects such as psychological, cultural, social, and physical. It is where students and teachers spend a large amount of their time and, hence, it is an environment that is assumed to promote a reasonable level of concentration in learning activities such as discussing, reading, drafting, drawing, writing, and practicing. Designers ought to pay enough attention to environmental aspects when designing classroom environments. They should create a human-centered environment that supports teaching/learning processes and enhances students' and instructors' performance (Rydeen, 2003).

Classrooms vary in size and function, depending on what teaching/learning activities are intended. Lecture-based teaching/learning activities, for instance, may require a different setting than other demonstration-based activities. Interior design teaching/learning activities, which may include lecturing, demonstrating, and practicing, require a specific setting that should be designed to facilitate such activities. The design-studio classroom is the most crucial space in interior design and architectural education; such space facilitates learning and social activities and influence student's interests and curiosity (Smith, 2011; Demirbas & Demirkan, 2000). …

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