BIOPHILIC INTERIOR DESIGN: A HEALING/THERAPY ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION PROJECT
Izmir University of Economics (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Biophilic Design is one of the most significant issues in interior design today. It is an emerging field in design that needs to be relevant in all interior design educational programs as natural resources are depleted day by day. The interior design second year studio at Izmir University of Economics, Izmir-Turkey, followed a full-year syllabus focused on Biophilic Design, partnering with K2 modern art gallery recognized at the international level. The brief was about designing a biophilic healing-therapy environment for a target group defined by the students themselves. Four instructors led 56 student projects that were all individually designed according to the specific definition of the each project. The existing space owned by K2 gallery was in the pine forest in Urla, Izmir. In its current form, it is an art-focused piece of land that includes a variety of structures that the students had a chance to visit. While the first semester focused on the composition of the whole site, structures and connections between structures, the second semester focused on designing the main building and one of the units on site, carrying the same chosen design concept. For the concept development, students needed to create a concept for the space based on the Biophilia hypothesis. A concept was defined as what drives a design process from beginning until the very end. It is an idea that brings everything under one “roof”, defines the identity, and helps designers in making decisions at any scale, from the spatial decisions to the smallest detail. For the requirements of the project, students were expected to do research on ways to enable people’s interaction with nature, various healing/therapy/recreation centers all over the World, nature and their own surroundings for inspiration developing into their concept, and the characteristics of the site and the needs of the site and city. Results showed a varied handling of the subject matter among the students and several successful projects. Awareness regarding a biophilic approach to design was achieved, as well as sensitivity towards use of natural resources, sustainable construction methods, and local and natural material. This is believed to have long-lasting effects on students’ future design applications, which is critical in the field of interior design today.
Keywords: Biophilia, biophilic design, interior architecture, interior design education, sustainable design.