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Architectural Studies

Design in the Virtual World

An interview with So-Yeon Yoon, Assistant Professor, Department of Architectural Studies

So-Yeon Yoon admits that while she has always liked computer games, even as a young child, she has also always enjoyed painting and drawing. Yoon describes her watercolor paintings and how for her the creative process is “very addictive”: “I like colors and creating something beautiful, and creating things on the computer actually gives the same kind of fulfillment.” She is attracted to three-dimensional (3-D) images and experimenting with different textures and colors. Thus it is perhaps no surprise that Yoon found herself drawn to the field of architecture and interior design—“a perfect match” in which her creative desires and her interest in computers could merge. Today, the assistant professor of Architectural Studies focuses her research and teaching on the areas of Human Environmental Psychology and Interior and Architectural Design. Her current research combines information technology with interior design and architecture, a composite field in which she applies technology, particularly virtual reality (VR), to interior design problems.

Finding the Familiar: Designing Suitable Spaces for Dementia Patients

An interview with Benyamin Schwarz, Professor, Architectural Studies

In the 1960s, schools of architecture started teaching that their discipline wasn’t just about beauty or efficiency or design — it was about people. One of the most important innovations that emerged in that era was the field of environment and behavior studies, which holds that people’s needs dictate architectural design. When Benyamin Schwarz became a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, he chose the field of Environmental Gerontology, and it became his life’s work.