Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Design

First Advisor

Shawhin Roudbari

Second Advisor

Georgia Lindsay

Third Advisor

Susan Jurrow


This project explores how learning spaces can educate young learners about the environment. As green design continues to be one of the fastest growing fields in the country, the intersection of green school design and environmental education becomes more critical. Through architectural analyses that map certain design features onto the space and supplemental interviews with school administration, I have generated a design-based understanding of how learning spaces can be created to influence environmental education. At a variety of learning spaces–I have found patterns, in how certain design strategies aimed to tie the building to the environment can influence sustainable behaviors. Furthermore, this research indicates that more formal learning spaces tend to use spaces beyond their given architectural space, to enable learners to connect with their environment. From this understanding, this research is positioned to inform school designers on constructing spaces that foster strong collective and individual relationships to the environment. This has the potential to contribute to a positive change in how education spaces are imagined, in respect to the environments that surround them.