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Elif Tural

  • Associate Professor

Elif joined the interior design program at Virginia Tech in 2016, where she is currently an associate professor in the School of Design. Leveraging her multidisciplinary design background and experience in environment-behavior studies, her research addresses how the built environment and indoor environmental comfort factors can foster health and wellbeing of occupants. In addition to the lighting and acoustics, and contemporary practice courses, Elif teaches the third-year design studios with a focus on workplace, cultural and educational environments, and in collaboration with community and industry partners where possible. She was also the recipient of the 2017 Edison Price Fellowship by the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education. 

Health and design, environment-behavior studies, community design and participation, lighting design

ITDS 3044: Interior Design Studio III
ITDS 3054: Interior Design Studio IV
ITDS 3176: Building Systems II
ITDS 4554: Contemporary Practice

Journal articles

Tural, E; Lu, D*; Cole, DA*. (2021). Safely and actively aging in place: Older adults’ attitudes and intentions toward smart home technologies. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 7. doi:10.1177/23337214211017340.

Tural, E; Lu, D*; Cole, DA*. (2020). Factors predicting older adults’ attitudes toward and intentions to use stair mobility assistive designs at home. Preventive Medicine Reports, 18, 8. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101082

Tural, E. (2017). Organizational Transformations in Community Design Centers: An Analysis through Giddens’ Theory of Structuration Framework. Journal of Community Practice: organizing, planning, development and change 25(2): 253-282.

Pulay, A., Read, M., Tural, E., & Lee, S. (2016). A Field Investigation of Student On‐task Behavior under Two Color Temperature Levels of Fluorescent Lighting in an Elementary School Classroom. Educational Planning, 23(3), 57‐70.

Ahrentzen, S., & Tural, E. (2015). The role of building design and interiors in ageing actively at home [Special Issue: Physical activity, sedentary behaviour & the indoor built environment]. Building Research & Information 43(5): 582‐601. 

Tural, E., & Tural, M. (2014). Luminance contrast analyses for low vision in a senior living facility: A proposal for an HDR image‐based analysis tool. Building & Environment 81, November: 20‐28. 


Book chapters

Ahrentzen, S., Tural, E., & Erickson, J. (2017). Green Design and Health. In D. Kopec (Ed.), Health and Wellbeing for Interior Architecture (pp. 77-93). New York, NY: Routledge.


Papers in refereed conference proceedings

Ahrentzen S, Tural E, & Erickson J. (2018).  Is Green Housing Healthy Housing: Examining the Evidence. In A. Memari, & S. Klinetob Lowe (Eds.), 4th Biennial Residential Building Design and Construction Conference Proceedings (pp. 131-145). University Park, PA: Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC).


External Funding

2022-2025 Building Ecology: examining space/place dynamics in a shared indoor environment, National Science Foundation, USD 350,000, Principal Investigator: Baird, T.; Co-Is: Abaid, N., Franusich, D., Pingel, T, Tural, E. (role: 20%)

2022-2023 Project-based Learning (PBL) in Hybrid/Blended Higher Education Settings, Steelcase, Inc., USD 7,500, PIs: Tural, E; Zhou, Y.

2021-2022 Steelcase: Acoustic Exploration, USD 15,000, Principal Investigators: Upthegrove, T; Tural, E (role: 50%). + USD 5000 for a sponsored junior studio project.

2017-2020 Active Living at Home through Interior Design: Senior Residential Environments and Affordable Assistive Technologies, American Society of Interior Designers, PI: Tural E; Co-Is: Brossoie N, Meaney K, Tucker L, Renard H, 08/01/2017- 12/31/2020, USD 30,000.

2017-2018 Warm Hearth Kroontje Healthcare Center Memory Courtyard Conceptual Designs, Blacksburg, VA. Principal Investigators: Gilboy E (34%); Proctor N (33%); Tural E (33%), 10/16/2017- 05/31/2018. USD 10,437.

2017 US Forest Service, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry ($4,500). Blacksburg, VA: Warm Hearth Kroontje Healthcare Center Memory Courtyard Conceptual Designs, (PIs: Gilboy E; Proctor N; Tural E). (33%)

Select Awards

2022 CAUS Certificate for Excellence in Teaching.

2020 Excellence in Scholarship Award; Virginia Tech, School of Architecture + Design. 

2018 New Faculty Teaching Award; Virginia Tech, School of Architecture + Design.


Select Professional Service

Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), Chair-Elect, 2022-present.

Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), Board of Directors, Member, 2021-present.

Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) Grant and Awards Committee, Chair, 2020-2022.

Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Board of Editors, Member, 2013-Present.


Professional Credentials

LEED Green Assoc. #10792115

Well AP #5653


Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.

MFA in Interior Architecture and Environmental Design, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

B. Arch, METU, Ankara, Turkey.