Insights from social science can be employed at multiple points throughout a design project to facilitate a wide variety of ends. Pre-design analysis, post-occupancy refits, and everything in between stand to gain from a greater understanding of what people want and need from their spaces. While there is a growing body of knowledge for designers to draw from, there is a gap between the research findings and our collective ability to incorporate those findings into design. This is true at both a project scale and at an industry scale.
The AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee aims to fill that gap by providing a forum for discussion of this research and its design implications. The committee examines methods, such as inclusive or participatory design and cross sectional studies, as well as quantitative and qualitative analysis. Its members also see a need to continue to build shared knowledge through tracking or documenting the human impacts of various forms and materials. The committee seeks to improve the big picture, advocating for ways to implement these methods more systematically to provide the greatest benefit, creating new standards and devising next-generation models to anticipate design performance.
Some of the questions the AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee tries to answer:
- How can designers come up with a strategic approach to incorporate social science, rather than cherry picking individual findings or methods?
- How do social science methods enable better pre-design work? What kinds of insights do they generate?
- Who is leading the way in developing and implementing these methods?
- How can designers and researchers develop shared methodologies and access to data sets through mutually agreed protocol?
Key Terms and Concepts
- Discovery, particularly in pre-design, including both methods and populations for inclusion
- Evidence, evaluation, post-occupancy; methods, findings and implications
- Prediction, from standards to next-generation models for anticipating design performance
Past events include:
- The Human Element in Workplace Design – October 27, 2016
- Designing for People Using Evidence: LEED, WELL, and What’s Next? – Sep 19, 2016
- I Love This Place! Social Research-Driven Design – December 15, 2016
- Architects as Activists Primer – November 19, 2018
- Remix Resample Remaster: Identity and Making Architecture – December 11, 2018.