Spatial Hunt: Social Media as a Source of Design in Architecture

Spatial Hunt: Social Media as a Source of Design in Architecture

Naime Esra Akin (Beykent University, Turkey) and Can Dagdelen (Arkitema Architecture and Engineering Company, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9261-7.ch016
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This chapter targets thinking toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Today, the spreading effects of information and communication technologies transform the society towards new habits and lifestyles. Individuals unhesitatingly and continuously share personal data on social media. Architects have started to figure out how this big data can be collected to help a better understanding of this emerging society and how to design for it. The text proposes a model for making an artificial intelligence-based spatial analysis that depends on a phenomenological approach to architecture. The model follows the public preferences to re-organize the design process to be well integrated with user participation. This research is made to analyze the possibilities how digital media literates contribute to the enrichment of the everyday life by using the tools of the digital world.
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The United Nations has formulated Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) towards 2030: Goal number 1.3 aims to “enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries”; furthermore, subtopic number 11.3.2 suggest “cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically”.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and particularly cell phones allow us to take pictures, share information and get in contact with each other. Our everyday life is made up of interactions between the physical and digital environments. Today, the young generation has the skills to use network technologies, multiple applications and mobile devices. It might be considered as a kind of education to use the apps. A new form of society with new habits and lifestyles is developing. The data created and collected by the new devices can help us to a better understanding of this emerging society and how to design for it.

City provokes people to become individuals by drawing them into the urban dynamic that becomes the source of happenings now and here. Individuals gain the opportunity of experiencing environments freely. Lived experiences in a context creates an exchange from place to person and from person to place. According to Martin Heidegger, existing in the world is related to dwell or to settle down at a place, to occupy a place in the environment. The dwelling activity is the relationship between an individual and place. Choosing the proper place for the individual to dwell is a matter of existence in everyday life. The city is a developing organism with its people living everyday life. People share a “living pattern language” as Christopher Alexander theorizes.

Public participation in the design processes plays a significant role in the cultural development of the future society and the goals of SDG. To approach this goal, it can be relevant to follow the preferences of the public revealed by their spatial positioning that is exposed by the information they share on social media. This is a proposal for developing a model for making an ‘Artificial Intelligence’-based spatial analysis that depends on a phenomenological approach to architecture.

This approach is different from the conventional methods of observation in-situ. It is based on asking the correct questions to extract the right answers about individual activities shared over social media. By asking these questions, we expect to have current, precise and wide-ranging information about the production of space. We aim to follow the public preferences to raise public consciousness and re-organize the design process to be well-integrated with citizen participation.

Being familiar with the world of internet and able to use it are very important ones among the various dimensions of digital literacy. Individuals in the society can provide human centered data to be used to support the important issues relevant to a variety of disciplines for a better future. Architecture is about the spatial production in the everyday life. Human centered data is needed to design the buildings and the environment. Data management in digital media literacy is very important for architecture to discover the preferences, the rising values and the behavioral patterns of the society. This is a research for developing a model for collecting high quality human centered data. Some samples of analysis will be made to search for the contributive aspects of data science, which became the most significant tool of the digital world to understand the individuals and the relevant concepts are presented for developing a project for a better future.

In section one, “architecture” will be discussed as a field of knowledge as a support for the production of space, and the society.

In section two, “everyday life” is examined as a social and temporal aspect of space. Its potential as a habitat of spatial analysis will be discussed.

In section three, “spatial analysis” will be opened in the context of some crucial approaches towards a pattern language.

In section four, “social media” will be discussed as a habitat to support the spatial analysis over data science.

Consequently, a research model will be proposed depending on a pattern language to extract the social media data of embedded realities in the city as an input to the decision-making process for architectural design.

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