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How can architects learn from their own experiences? [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. 2008; 5(2): 82-95

How can architects learn from their own experiences?

Pelin Dursun, Ahsen Özsoy
Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul, TURKEY

Environmental feedback is needed in current architectural practices in order to achieve sustainable and well-qualified buildings that seriously fulfil the needs of their inhabitants. Post- occupancy evaluations can be seen as useful tools for obtaining feedback on how buildings perform and how they are experienced by their inhabitants after they have been occupied. These studies evaluate designed spaces in a scientific way and can be accepted as important resources supplying valuable information to architects for their future design proposals. In this way, they also constitute an important link between architectural research and practice. The aim of this paper is to focus on the post-occupancy evaluations of two student centres which have been designed in the scope of renovations at Istanbul Technical University. In the last fifteen years ITU has worked hard to improve and develop physical and social structures on its campuses, and new projects have been designed. Some faculty spaces that have completed their functional life span have been renovated and new spaces have been created to serve the changing needs of their users. In this study, first the concept of “re-functioning of existing buildings” is introduced and then two projects designed during these renovation attempts are tested comparatively by their architects. Occupants’ needs, perceptions and expectations are taken into account and in-depth interviewing with the administration, teaching staff and the students, behavioural observation and photographic documentation have been employed in the post-occupancy analysis. Technical (acoustic, lighting, ventilation, heat), spatial (function of space, arrangement of space, order of space/spatial relations, size of space), behavioural (personal expressions, social interaction, comfort and aesthetic) and management issues (service quality, control of space) are tested in the POEs. By measuring both successes and failures inherent in the buildings’ performance, feedback for further developments in other ITU academic buildings is provided.

Keywords: Post-occupancy evaluation (POE), quality of space, re-functioning


Pelin Dursun, Ahsen Özsoy. How can architects learn from their own experiences?. ITU J Faculty Arch. 2008; 5(2): 82-95

Corresponding Author: Pelin Dursun, Türkiye


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