Redesigning a Graduate Student Center through Employing an Evidence-Based Design Approach
Developing interior design that meets human needs is one of the fundamental roles of interior designers. The purpose of the study is to investigate the functions and activities of graduate students that take place in a graduate student lounge. The main objective of this study is to develop and formulate the built environment of a graduate student lounge in a way that adequately satisfies students' desires and needs. The study was conducted among three hundred (N=300) graduate students at Texas Tech University in the United States who were administered an online survey to obtain the needed information. Participants were recruited through their university emails. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods. Its findings showed that students’ preferential third places to spend time were a coffee shop, the university library, a restaurant, a friend’s place, and the gym. The main expected activities at the graduate student center were doing school assignments, eating and drinking, taking a nap, and having a small party. Graduate students considered the most essential facilities to be the labs, study rooms, couches, sleeping areas, dining rooms, and kitchenettes. Based on the findings of this study, an interior environment for the graduate student lounge was designed and proposed to the graduate school administration. This paper brings together practical information that can help in designing student centers that accommodate student needs.
Keywords: Graduate student center, students' activities, students’ preferences, place attachment, university students.