Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Interior Design (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Erica Bartels


Interior designers need to show and share awareness of cultural inclusivity in design solutions to create a positive experience for all end users. In order to do this, interior designers need to gain an understanding of how people from various geographical locations perceive space and, as a result, behave and connect in public environments. This study explored existing literature on human factors in design, such as proxemics, territoriality, anthropometrics, cultural dimensions in business practices, and inclusivity in design. The research methodology included a Qualtrics survey on cultural background and demographic data; three-dimensional renderings of a public restaurant and a workplace; and sliding scale questions on international business cultural dimensions. Results indicated that social distance between another person was preferred at both the workplace and cafe. Participants also showed preference for personal and intimate distances between a colleague/friend vs. a supervisor. The concepts of business cultural dimensions showed slight variations among the culture groups in the study sample, suggesting that further research into cultural inclusivity in proxemics is important. The aim of the project was to assist interior designers in space planning for inclusion in public spaces in order to the dots of non-verbal cultural dimensions and interior design practice.