Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Steve Cooke, M. Arch.

Committee Member

Alex Bothos, M. Arch.

Committee Member

Stanley Russell, M. Arch.


Preschool, Behavioral, Children, Playground, Process


Perception of the physical environment is largely dependent on a range of criteria which are not always readily identifiable. Such a difficulty to identify how a person perceives an environment creates a situation in which architects and designers can easily neglect this idea of the individual user and their experience.

Through the design of a preschool, this thesis focuses largely on understanding how children and other users perceive and interact with their environments. The design process employed synthesizes user based research and analysis of environmental cues such as light, sound, and smells and their effect on how we interpret a setting.

Investigations into learning environments, educational theories, and sensorial design strategies become tools from which to explore a design methodology. The project itself seeks to understand a process necessary for a meaningful, humanistic design approach for an architecture that benefits and enriches the everyday lives of individuals.