Teaching universal design: An empirical research in interior architecture
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Special issue: 3rd World Conference on Educational Sciences - 2011
3185 - 3192
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Design studios are the essential part of the architectural education. Therefore, it is important to introduce big ideas and focus on complex concepts, such as universal design, within the challenge of design studios. This study is designed to provide a basis for further investigation on the possible adaptation of universal design philosophy in the Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design at Bilkent University beginning from the early stages of its design education to its graduate level. It is based on the data of an empirical research through semi-structured interviews with 79 interior architecture students and 23 fulltime instructors. The results of the interviews revealed several influences on both students' and instructors' approach to universal design. From instructors' point of view, providing the linkage between the content of the courses in terms of universal design issues can be a good way to foster the development of innovative teaching strategies. According to students, it is important to emphasize on universal design issues as a fundamental aspect of design studios and lectures. Therefore, the in-depth treatment of universal design within the curriculum content is essential so that universal design becomes an inseparable part of the design process and a fundamental aspect of design education. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.