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Interior Architecture: Plan Your Search

How to search for and find infomation and images for Interior Architecture

What is interior architecture research?


Interior architecture research combines the technical and artistic fields of architecture and product design, and emphasises design thinking to solve problems.

Whilst your ability to compose a space with objects, to draw and to use materials will form a large part of your technical skillset, being able to inform yourself of the latest technological developments in materials and also find exemplars of good interior design will make you a better student.

Sample assignment topic


Sunlit interior

Socha, A [@qimono]. 2017. [Sunlit interior] [Stock Image]. Pixabay.

This assessment is a study of materials and technologies responsible for defining atmospheric controls in interior space. Through examination of case studies, students will produce construction documents that outline the logic and steps required to build specific interior projects. 

Students will use 2D and 3D techniques to produce digital models and a complete documentation set at industry standard.

Identify your key concepts


Before you begin searching, it's a good idea to identify the main ideas (or keywords) in your assignment question. 

Our sample question asks us to look at materials and technologies that allow for atmospheric control in indoor environments and also asks the student to consult case studies.  

There are lots of elements here (4 if you count the case study aspect) but lets begin by isolating the 3 major ideas: 

Atmospheric control (keyword 1) | interior (keyword 2) | materials / technologies (keyword(s) 3) 


Keyword 1 Keyword 2 Keyword 3

Atmospheric Control


Materials/ Technologies

Brainstorm keywords and synonyms


Once you have your main keywords you can use them to map out some similar or related terms to search with. Wikipedia is great for brainstorming, but you can also try: 

The most important search term is atmospheric control (keyword 1). For this we've added related terms such as passive thermal design.

After that the next most important term would be interior space (keyword 2). For this we've added synonymous terms like indoor and related terms like building.

There are two interchangeable options for keyword 3: materials and technologies. For these keywords we've added terms like glass and air conditioning. 

Interior Materials/

climate control
passive thermal design
passive design



air conditioning

Ideally we'll be able to find literature containing all three keywords but remember, effective searching means being able to adapt to the results a search engine is giving you:


  • Remove a keyword or add more related terms if you don't get enough good hits.
  • Add a keyword if you have too many hits and they aren't focused enough on the topic.

Build your search


When searching, it's best to start simple. Our main topic is probably atmospheric control. We could try searching for just that term, but the results would probably be too broad, and the results to do with interior architecture will get diluted with articles about the Earth's climate. So we'll add the term interior to the search : atmospheric control interior

If you don't find much, try using Boolean Operators. Boolean Operators can be used to search for many similar or related terms at once. The idea behind this is to find more material, and also to save you time in having to run many different searches.

Boolean searches for our topic

  • Use OR to add similar and related terms into your search.
  • Use parentheses to group related terms together: ( )
  • If you have two word keywords in your search, enclose them in double quotes: " "

(material OR technology)

  • If you have two word keywords like atmospheric control, enclose them in double quotes.

("atmospheric control" OR "climate control" OR  "passive design")

Then, combine OR searches together using the operator AND:

("atmospheric control" OR "climate control" OR "passive design") AND (interior OR indoor OR building) AND (material OR technology)

If you don't get good results, try removing a keyword from the search, or try to think of more related terms. 

To see how these searches can be used to find material in the library, refer to the Search for Information page (linked on right of screen)..