As an aspiring interior designer, I hope to design innovative, inclusive, and sustainable spaces to enhance the experience of all occupants. My strengths lay in my technical skills as well as, my ability to space-plan according to evidence-based design. With my skills I look to create functional and environmentally friendly spaces that accommodate the users.
Libraries have been evolving every generation, the challenges that today’s libraries face are by digitalization and opportunities to access information easily (Serholt, Eriksson, Dalsgaard, Bats, & Ducros, 2018). These demands are pressures that happen when traditional methods meet digital demands. Hence, libraries need to redefine and reinvent themselves for the community (Serhott et al., 2018). The goal of this thesis project was to identify some of the interior design problems current libraries face and whether libraries can be improved to facilitate the needs of the users to create the ideal interactive library space.
Rationale and Design Narrative
As a student who is a frequent user of libraries, I have noticed that libraries have been changing to fit the needs of the current community. There is an increased use of wireless sessions, workstations, and programs at Toronto Public Library reflects Torontonians’ growing need for access to computers, physical space, and innovation/ educational programs (Toronto Public Library, 2020). Evidence-based research shows that libraries needs to focus on designing physical (private and open-concept) spaces that benefit the more technology-driven community. Hence, I explored various arrangements of linear forms through miniature models as a method to preview different spatial experiences that can be created. Form the experimental models, I was able to conclude that linear forms can play a significant role in designing privacy levels within the building. Additionally, the linear organizations can express movement and growth. Hence, linear panels become a prominent design element within the space.
Design Connection to Research
From the research and findings that were analyzed and compared from this semester lead to answers to possible design solutions that will need to be implemented within the proposed library facility. The main themes discovered included technology, physical space, private and open-concept spaces. It can be concluded that this generation seeks these themes in the interior environment of library spaces, hence the proposed library facility will consider designing private and open-spaces with integrated technology that works as a functional and dynamic space. Additionally, the private spaces will need to be intimate, personal spaces that allow youth to plug in their personal laptops or equipment. It will also need to consider levels of visualization, and acoustic control. On the other hand, the open-concept spaces need to have an environment that are inviting, and collaborative for group users. The open workstations will also need outlets for personal devices and group work.
Character of Space
The design aspect of this project focuses on designing a space that enhances the library experience. As well as, to continue to accommodate the future generation by facilitating to their needs, and allowing users to have a better learning environment where they can grow and receive support. The physical space of the library will support its users through spatial layout, materials, and furnishings, lighting, colours, acoustics, and technology. This includes using linear forms throughout the library to signify movement and; create private and open-concept spaces where required. The linear panels that run throughout the interior are made of ash wood to create a warm and inviting environment for users. Additionally, the interior consists of arched linear panels that act as a semi-private separation along the two main corridors which intersect towards the middle for easier and simple circulation.
By having information accessible online, the need for traditional libraries is disappearing as digital libraries retain information that is readily available to youth via the Internet. Thus, the library needs to change to fit the criteria’s that this generation needs through means such as “house[ing] cafés, lounge areas, presentation spaces, and plenty of computer and study areas” (Herman Miller, 2019). Libraries need to be adaptable and flexible, as well as provide both private and public spaces for individual and social learning. Additionally, libraries need spaces such as media rooms that can act as a digital zone to accommodate digital activities; a business center for resume help, or job search advice. The library needs to assign spaces for each generation which includes children, youth, and older adults; hence this programming respectively designed spaces such as a kid’s zone, youth hub, and community rooms.