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Keywords

Biophilic design, experiential learning, preschoolers, outdoor learning spaces, College Saint Marc

Disciplines

Architecture | Arts and Humanities | Education | Engineering

Abstract

Capturing nature-related values is the cornerstone in postmodern theories of architecture. Approaches like, sustainable, ecological, environmental, green …. etc, are labeling most of architectural interventions now. However, ‘Biophilic Architecture’ stands as one of these concepts that reflects a new perspective for linking the nature to architecture. The applications of this concept are accelerating among different building types and it has profound impacts on articulating the vocabulary of the used architecture. Schools are among building types that witness profound changes in architectural expressions due to radical developments in pedagogical theories. Experiential learning is one of the emerging approaches for preschoolers. It exploits child’s built in curiosity to develop his/her gained cumulative knowledge through direct interaction with nature. This paper investigates the potentials of biophilic design approach to add to experiential learning qualities in the outdoor learning spaces. It reviews literature to build a correlation matrix that links biophilic patterns to different aspects of experiential learning. In addition, it introduces ‘Wheel of Experiential Learning’ as a theoretical model representing these correlations. An analytical study to a number of preschools’ open spaces is performed -based on pictorial investigations- to give more insights to applicability dimensions of the theoretical findings. Finally, the paper uses these findings to evaluate the external education space in preschool section, College Saint Marc, Alexandria Egypt regarding its biophilic design capabilities to create an inspiring experiential milieu.

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