Doctor of Philosophy in Interior Architecture and Environmental Design

Program Description:

The Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design offers Ph.D. degree program with the possibility of specialization in building science, history theory and criticism, design theories and methods, and environmental psychology and design. Students are guided through an intensive program that emphasizes scholarly inquiry, research skills, analysis and constructive criticism. The curriculum provides an interdisciplinary outlook, incorporating knowledge from related disciplines. The graduate studio combines theory and application. The elective courses are chosen through consultation with an academic advisor.

Research Topics:

This topic deals with environmental quality in buildings. Interactions between occupants and environmental attributes like lighting, acoustics and thermal comfort are examined to understand how well a building is performing. Lighting topics include day lighting, artificial lighting and color. Acoustics topics cover room acoustics, building acoustics and noise control. Thermal comfort topics comprise of heat, bioclimatic comfort, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), energy efficiency and condensation. Building materials, components and sub-systems are also covered with their impact on building performance.

This topic tries to answer questions such as: What is design? What is a design process? What type of knowledge do the designers use in design process? What methods do the designers use in proposing alternative solutions? What methods and theories that are developed in other disciplines (education, social science, computer science, etc.) can be used in design? How the quality of design education can be improved? How design ideas are communicated and presented?

Design Theories and Methods as an interdisciplinary area of study searches for the theoretical background of design as well as the methods that the designers use to explore, generate and develop alternative design solutions. The tools and techniques that are applied in the practice of design are also investigated. Computer is a widely used tool in design process and in data and knowledge representation. Therefore, current digital opportunities in design are also explored, such as collaborative design, virtual design environments, data modeling and visualization.

This topic examines human interactions with(in) the built environment, and their implications for design. The concepts such as personal space, privacy, territoriality and control are utilized in the analysis of human-space interaction. Spatial factors, which influence perception, cognition and the resulting understandings and behavior are studied at both individual and societal levels. Transformations in the society and spaces are also covered at the extent of their impact on human behavior, particularly in public spaces.

Aims and Objectives:

The Ph.D. program in Art, Design and Architecture is basically an interdisciplinary research program open to all candidates holding a Master’s Degree in fine arts, design, architecture or a related field. The research done is expected to be either a novel contribution to art and science, or the introduction of a new method, or a completely innovative application of a widely known method to the selected area. The program aims at inquiring into various issues of art, design and architecture, both in theoretical and practical fields by encouraging the students to carry out research in unexplored topics. By investigating pertinent past and current developments in the world and in Turkey within a cross-cultural framework, various aspects of processes in design, implementation, performance and evaluation are examined by students to achieve the objective of producing work, demonstrating competence in research, interpretation and assessment.


Applicants are required to have a master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Applicants should take the ALES (Akademik Personel ve Lisanüstü Eğitimi Giriş Sınavı, Academic Personnel and Postgraduate Education Entrance Examination) and must satisfy the announced minimum requirements. Applicants who are not Turkish citizens and Turkish citizen applicants who are residents of a foreign country may take the GRE ( Graduate Record Examination) instead of the ALES. All non-native speakers of English are required to submit proof of English-language proficiency. Admittance is also determined through an interview given before the beginning of each academic year. The date and place of the interview is announced each year by the University.

Degree Requirements:

The minimum course load for the Ph.D. program is 21 credit units. After completion of the courses, the Ph.D. candidate must take a qualifying examination and make a presentation related to his/her thesis and submit a thesis proposal which will be evaluated by a jury composed of well-known scholars in the relevant field. Upon a favorable evaluation by the jury, the candidate will qualify for work towards a Ph.D. thesis. At the completion of the thesis, a similar jury will examine the thesis and the candidate for a final decision on the degree. The duration for the completion of degree requirements is eight semesters.

Typical course of study involves the completion of required course work during the first year of the program. The course selection is subject to the approval of the Academic Committee. In the subsequent years, Ph.D. candidates register in IAED 690 Seminar in Advanced Research Topics (0 Credit / 6 ECTS) and/or IAED 699 Ph.D. Dissertation (0 Credit / 6 ECTS) for completion of the seminar and thesis requirements.

Contact Person:

Prof. Dr. Yasemin Eren Afacan