Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Interior Design


Interior Design

First Advisor

Julie Irish



Community spaces are spaces offered to students who live in university owned residences to fulfill social, academic, and personal activities. The department of residence at University A, earn revenue from students living in their residences. Outside competitors pose a threat to their yearly revenue. It is important to incorporate student preferred designs in community spaces to encourage student use. The purpose of this study was to evaluate students' perception of the community spaces in their university-owned residences to gain an understanding of students' preferences. The research question of interest was how does design aesthetics contribute to university students' desire to use community spaces in university-owned residences and how can interior design be used to fulfill students' social and academic needs within their residence halls?

If the community spaces are created for student satisfaction, then they will be more frequently used, and students will choose to stay in university-owned residences because spaces that fulfill their social, academic, and personal needs are included in the residences.

The method was a survey distributed to 11,400 students living in university-owned residences at a Midwest university, 313 students took part in the study. It was predicted that students would be more interested in the color applied in the residence hall community spaces, however, the results indicated that students were more interested in the design and comfort level of the furniture. Students also preferred community spaces that provided furniture they could rearrange and was comfortable for different activities. They also preferred community spaces that included natural lighting, less institutionalized design aesthetics in materials, such as, carpet, or wood-appearance flooring, and a selective color palette. The findings were used to develop a design checklist for designers and facilities managers involved in designing similar spaces. Overall, students are affected by aesthetic design and how it is implemented in community spaces encourages their use of these spaces.


Copyright Owner

Nicollette Clotile Lambert



File Format


File Size

102 pages