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ERIC Number: ED549322
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 170
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-6974-4
Moving Home to College: Socio-Physical Factors in Creating "Home" in Temporary Environments
Lawless, Julie Williams
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Kansas
Intentionally temporary housing environments, like student housing, where residents know they will settle for a short period may lack the social and physical factors that inspire a sense of home and community. Yet, these environments compete with traditional housing options to retain residents and therefore, universities want to create housing that makes students feel at home and bond with their fellow students and their eventual alma maters. This research asks how do the social, psychological, and physical structures of a temporary living environment create a sense of "home?" This study analyzes these connections in residence halls on the campus of the University of Kansas, as a way to develop principles that will result in high-quality design for temporary living environments. Methods used in this study adapt a series of five focus-group activities combined with interviews and observations to investigate the social and physical factors that inspire students to create "home" in the halls. Four major themes developed through this study address the social-physical connection in the environment: choice and control; flexibility and adaptability; comfort and well-being; and community. These themes suggest a set of design principles that respond to the social development of residents and the physical requirements for successful student spaces. The principles encourage the incorporation of smaller, clustered residential communities to improve identity and community, the use of adaptable furnishings, and the incorporation of "third places" for socialization. This study proves that scale matters; it sets forth design principles for temporary environments that emphasize the importance of social and physical scale in the living environment, and it highlights the viability of a design process to develop ongoing practice in the field of student housing. Student housing officials may use the results of this study to evaluate housing policies and set agendas for future construction projects. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kansas