The impact of visual art in the built environment : a study in the classroom

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Chaney, Anna E.
Kanakri, Shireen Mohammad
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Construction Management and Interior Design
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The role that the interior designer plays in designing learning environments is key to the wellbeing and success of the child who occupies the classroom. As children spend an impressionable amount of time in the learning environment it is vital to understand the purpose and impact of every element that makes up the classroom, including visual art. Visual art has often been utilized by teachers and interior designers to decorate classroom walls; however, there are few empirical studies that discuss how it may impact the occupant, specifically children between the ages of 4-9. Additionally, there is little information about children’s preference of art inside the classroom, categorically nature or cartoon art. This study primarily utilizes a survey instrument designed to investigate how visual art impacts children between the ages of 4-9 inside of a classroom environment through the lens of the educator. Discovering how visual art may positively or negatively affect children in the built environment is the main objective of the survey. The findings of this study demonstrate that there is a strong correlation between positive behaviors of children and visual art in the learning environment, therefore, the findings support the case that an interior designer should have a greater role in setting up the classroom. Currently, an interior designer’s role is to design the built environment to uphold the wellbeing of the inhabitant and enhance the experience within it. This includes many interior elements, but not the selection and placement of visual art. In the classroom, visual art is as significant as every other element in the interior space. The researcher recommends that the responsibilities of the interior designer should shift and encompass the selection and placement of visual art in the classroom environment.