Topçu, E. Ümran. "Learning And Environmental Design: Softer Learning Spaces." ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 7, issue 2 (2013): 311-317.
Learning is a central part of everyone’s life that is often associated with school and classrooms. Today’ classroom looks and functions like the classroom of an earlier century. Desks lined up in neat rows, facing the teacher and a board or screen is the general condition in many educational institutions. Most of us have sat through classes in plain, hard rooms. Although they did not look very pleasant, we all coped with them. If they could be designed slightly more tolerable, would they help in the betterment of education and learning in any measurable way? This paper aims at describing an attempt to design an alternative classroom. Based on several years of experience, it is observed that there is a demand among students for softer, warmer and more intimate instructional spaces. Students of “People and Environment” Course were asked to select a suitable space to redesign as a “Soft Classroom” within Bahçesehir University Besiktas Campus premises. This case study presented a potential research project to better understand, how student engagement can be increased by changing learning spaces.