Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art and Design

First Advisor

Fred Malven


This thesis is about the relevance of interior design to our complex and fundamental relationship to place, by defining placeness and its significance to self. Environmental psychology asserts that it is inaccurate to talk about a person outside of his or her context. Designers are essentially striving for a meaningful “person-environment fit” and creating a womb with a view, therefore nurturing and reflecting who we are and our priorities, positively (Gallagher, 2006).

The study of home and place is entwined with several areas including: sociology, anthropology, psychology, human geography, history, architecture, and philosophy (Mallett, 2004). This study is about creating a sense of place through interior design that reflects self through innate needs related to Maslow’s hierarchy and preferences, related to portrayed self. Through this creation of placeness, we create the tools for an individual’s higher self and their environmental communication of that self with themselves and others. Environmental cues are meant to elicit appropriate emotions, interpretations, and behaviors, therefore communicating through the setting the most appropriate choices to be made for the situations and contexts (Rapoport, 1982).


Copyright Owner

Cynthia A. Kelly



File Format


File Size

126 pages