From White Paper to White Screen: Interior Architecture Virtual Design Studio Experience
Design studios form the backbone of interior architecture education, as in all other professions where design education is given. The traditional design studio approach stands out as a physical learning environment and a unique pedagogical method. The stages of solving the design problem are grasped through conceptual and practical processes. The student, who stepped into the design studio for the first time, is involved in the social structure of the design studio, which is fed by the culture of discussion and dialogue, develops unique perspectives for the solution of the design problem, and experiences the design process by trial and error and learning by doing. The structure of traditional design studios has developed due to computer technologies, especially in the early 1990s. Over time, more digital tools and virtual environments have been integrated into design studios. This situation has led to social learning environments, virtual design studio applications, and cultural and interdisciplinary collaborations connected through digital networks. As a result, students have started to use new tools, methods, and environments to learn and explore the discipline of interior design. All these opportunities provided by the virtual design studio environment allow the design studio applications to be carried out through the virtual environment within the challenging conditions and limitations of the Pandemic (Covid-19) process and enable the students who take the Interior Architecture Project course for the first time and the course managers to gain new experiences about the design workshop. The current study, it is aimed to present and evaluate the process and the results of the Interior Architecture Virtual Design Studio course, which was carried out during the Pandemic period, in the Department of Interior Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Eskişehir Technical University, in the Fall semester of 2020-2021. The course and its process are analyzed through the observation notes taken by the instructors in the light of theoretical data and are conveyed with a single case study pattern based on exploratory research, which is a qualitative research method.