Architectural education, yoga and architecture, structural design education, built environment education, body experience



One of the main difficulties for first year architecture students is to sort out complicated physical rules of constructional systems and reflecting those rules to their designs. These topics are also difficult to understand in built environment education (B.E.E.) designed for children. In order to simplify the learning process of these abstract topics, an experiential program is designed and explained in the scope of this paper. This paper aims to introduce the YogArch program and the outcomes of its implementation.


This program is based on two different disciplines, which are yoga and architecture. Therefore, it is called “YogArch”. YogArch matches specific yoga asanas (positions) with suitable architectural elements and systemic principles. This program gives the participant a chance to experience these constructional facts on his/her own body. In the scope of this paper 8 different implementations of YogArch program are examined. There are two different participant groups: children and first year undergraduate architecture students. There are totally 221 participants in these two focus groups. In the scope of this research, the outputs of the workshops are collected and analyzed, findings are generated and some suggestions are made on the future use of the program.


The outcomes of implemented YogArch workshops are analyzed. According to these findings, this program supports creating built environment awareness for children. For the undergraduate students, the program supported and clarified the knowledge they’ve obtained in their formal courses. Also, it is a practical method for simplifying complicated terms in the curricula.

Research Limitations/Implications

The YogArch program is based on practicing some yoga poses in order to create physical experience. During the implementation of the workshop schedule, some participants had difficulties due to their own lack of training, in practicing some of the poses which require reasonable amount of strength. In such cases the instructor had to support and direct the participant to practice the pose in a more suitable version and develop body awareness.

Practical/Social Implications

The safety of a living environment depends on the consciousness level of inhabitants and users. Providing sufficient knowledge on constructional principles of buildings for the entire society and extending built environment education have vital importance especially for the countries which are at risk about earthquakes, like Turkey.


This study focuses on offering an experimental education model in structural and architectural design education for all ages. This paper introduces a new educational program called YogArch. The proposed model differs from previous studies, as it expands the educational methods in formal and informal architectural education.

Author Biography

Sebla Arın Ensarioğlu, Bursa Uludağ University

Sebla ARIN ENSARİOĞLU received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from ITU Department of Architecture. Her research areas are architectural design, design education, participatory architecture, children and architecture. She continues her studies as an architect since 2004, as an academician since 2012 and recently works as a member of Bursa Uludağ University, Faculty of Architecture.


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How to Cite

Arın Ensarioğlu, S. (2021). THE USE OF HUMAN BODY AS A MEDIUM IN ARCHITECTURAL AND STRUCTURAL EDUCATION: “YOGARCH” PROGRAM . ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 9(1), 455–478.