Izmir University of Economics (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 306-314
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.0092
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
This study focuses on the educational significance of socializing among university students. The framework involves the redesign of a café with biophilic design criteria, where university students enjoy meeting among a nature induced social environment. The aim is to understand post-closure anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and utilize participatory approaches as methodology to bring students together in creating an environment with their needs in mind. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected university students in terms of their psychological health. The rules and regulations regarding "social distance" have resulted in anxiety in especially the Z generation. The socialization anxiety of the Z generation has also had effects on academic motivation. A biophilic approach to design could be a method that can be used in this problem to create the best possible environment for people to live, study, and learn. Research shows that human beings’ connection to nature during the pandemic, specifically through biophilic design, may be key to improving socializing needs of university students in the healthiest way possible. Participatory design enables users to have a say in the environments they inhabit, and therefore this approach is adopted in this study to comprehend students’ essential needs during the challenging times of the pandemic. This approach, which proceeds by addressing the priorities and socialization concerns of the Z generation, may help providing them with an environment where they can participate effectively and in a variety of ways. An online questionnaire to understand students’ current feelings, motivation, and approach to biophilic design was applied. This was followed by a virtual participatory design process, conducted with design students at Izmir University of Economics, Turkey, which led to individual designs for a café where students were used to gathering. Findings have shown that students have increased levels of anxiety due to distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, biophilic design features have been stated to decrease levels of anxiety. The designs have focused on natural elements such as, planter partitions, water features, and connections to the outdoor environment. At the end of the study, the aim was to derive guidelines that designers can use to create safe and social biophilic spaces for young people during and after the COVID-19 pandemic for healthier environments enhancing socialization and student motivation.
Student motivation, higher education, biophilic design, participatory design, COVID-19 pandemic, interior design.