Re-defining the Boundaries at Schools. Perspectives from Teachers’ Interpretations of Sources of Spatial Change

Дата выхода / Published: 2016

Yasemin Burcu Baloğlu

Recognizing the close relation of educational philosophies and methods with the design of the built environment which accommodates them, the purpose of this paper is to bring insights to the issue through presenting the interpretations of one of the major user groups, educating staff, to determine the primary sources of the need for spatial change at primary schools in the local context. A field study has been conducted with the participation of 142 teachers from 15 public primary schools located in a dense urban environment, in Bayrampasa district, Istanbul.

Responses to the open-ended questions were analyzed through the use of the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process method. The results indicate that the need for providing qualified spaces for physical activity and play as well as devoted subject-specific learning areas, utilization of outdoor spaces, accommodation of high numbers of students emerge as primary sources of the need for spatial change.The contemporary child-centered and experience-based educational approaches of the twenty-first century, developed around carrying the learning activities beyond the traditional classrooms brought the formation of boundaries at schools under question.

Regarding these ideas, flexibility and related concepts have become the common design aspects to come under focus for school architecture. In Turkey, there is an increasing trend in the production of educational facilities due to population growth and rapid changes in the educational system, which seems to proceed in the foreseeable future. The innovative proposals of school design indeed have the potential to contribute to the development of future school projects.The study presents a unique contribution to the related literature through presenting empirical data from users’ perspective. 


Yasemin Burcu Baloğlu received her Bachelor’s degree from Bilkent University, Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design, in 2008. Between 2008- 2010, she has worked at the same university as a research and teaching assistant and completed her Master’s with a full scholarship, focusing on environmental psychology and design. Following her graduation, she has worked as an interior designer in many projects with different programs and scales. She has participated in interdisciplinary studies conducted with international agencies and made contributions to architectural competition projects with various architecture firms and design offices. In 2013, she completed the hotel interior design program at the Domus Academy in Milan. She has started working as a research assistant and tutored interior design studios at MEF University Faculty of Arts, Design, and Architecture between 2017-2019. In 2020, she earned her Ph.D. degree in Architecture and Design from Bahçesehir University. Her thesis study focused on the relationships between the design of learning spaces and educational practices. She currently works as an assistant professor in the department of Interior Design at MEF University, Istanbul. 


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