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Architecture and Social Interaction

garthglasses

Hi! Im on my 4th year and Im about to do my thesis on my next semester. I just want opinions or ideas about the topic I am interested in. It is the disappearance of Social Skills caused by technology specifically social media.

I still have not narrowed it down to a specific area of study or track. I am planing to propose a detox community or facility that can reconnect a person back to his senses in experiencing the real world rather than the virtual world he is trapped in.

I am still nt sure about this topic, I am having  hard time choosing one because I also have to submit it for my research subject this semester, and I want to pursue it for my next semester for me not to have a hard time finding a topic for my thesis once again. Any thoughts? 

Thank you! 

 
Feb 11, 18 11:26 am
BulgarBlogger

First of all, a project is NOT a thesis... you first have to create your argument, and then you can look into ways of addressing your argument through architecture.

If your argument is indeed that people are becoming less inter personable because of technology, what evidence do you have to support that claim? I'm not saying you are wrong, but always back up your claims with evidence. Have there been studies on this issue? 

I ask because I would bet that after doing some research, you'll find that the studies done on this topic will provide you with some more insight into what kind of project to pursue... The answer may not necessarily be a detox center... Right now you jumped to a conclusion without any evidence...

Feb 11, 18 12:23 pm
BulgarBlogger

God - I feel like a thesis adviser... that advice right there,  my friend, would cost you thousands at a university... now roll with it!

Feb 11, 18 12:25 pm
garthglasses

Thank you for the advice! As I read your comment, I am now convinced that I do need an argument and further research about this topic. Thank you so much for this. 


But, assuming that I have researched and found evidences, do you think that this topic would be applicable for further study? Or at least become a thesis topic? Do you think that architecture is applicable regarding technology and human interaction? 

Again, thank you very much for the advice! I really appreciate it. 

Feb 12, 18 2:05 am
BulgarBlogger

Mies Van Der Rohe said that architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space. If indeed technology is the will of this epoch, then inevitably the way technology affects our every day life will also affect our space. I think your idea has merit, but I think it is not yet developed. 

Feb 12, 18 1:48 pm
jla-x

I agree with Bulgar.  I would add that you may want to speculate a bit on the long term implications of this, how far it will possibly go in the near future, and why this is “bad”.  May be a fun chance to cite some sci-fi / futurist works that explore this topic.  Watch black mirror.  It’s a good light / fun start to your research to get you into things.  


Furthermore, rather than a rehabilitation center, you may want to think about a more decentralized thing that can be seamlessly incorporated into the real world.  I can’t imagine a person checking into a rehab center...that’s weird imo...and a sort of weak copout.   In other words, “prevention is the best medicine”...Can we create spaces within the built environment that provide sanctuary and encourage interactions in this hi-tech      age without having to break such high inertia...can it be more integral to the everyday world?  Who builds it and why?  


NOW DO YOUR OWN HW.  

Feb 12, 18 2:32 pm
jla-x

Can it be done so smoothly that a person would be subconsciously inclined to be social without having to make an effort to enter something or check into something? IMO, the strongest project will be so subtle that a person likely won’t even realize that they crossed a planned threshold.

garthglasses

I agree! That is what I want to achieve as well. Now I am having ideas that made me think about that detox center. I guess I do need further research about this. Thank you! I will definitely watch black mirror to get those research energy in.
Thank you!

BulgarBlogger

I wonder what a cafe for blind dates set up on line would look like... 

Feb 12, 18 5:52 pm
tduds

'I can’t imagine a person checking into a rehab center...that’s weird imo...and a sort of weak copout.'

Seconded.

I've seen a lot of thesis designs, and I can roughly separate them into two categories: Designs that solve your problem with architecture (good!), and designs that create a space where other people solve your problem for you (lazy!). Avoid the latter.

Feb 12, 18 6:24 pm
jla-x

And god forbid someone actually try’s to solve a problem that can have some sort of financial incentive for the one financing it....that would be way too realistic and useful. Instead, academia would rather pretend that these projects exist in some socialist utopia.

garthglasses

Thank you for this. Yes, I would avoid the latter one! I would want my research study to be interesting and well though of.

garthglasses

Thank you for this. Yes, I would avoid the latter one! I would want my research study to be interesting and well though of.

garthglasses

No I do need research about this. I asked this question because I am having doubts about this topic. It may not get approved, or something. But I do have a feeling that this topic has potential, I just need to justify why, and research more. Thank you!

garthglasses

No I do need research about this. I asked this question because I am having doubts about this topic. It may not get approved, or something. But I do have a feeling that this topic has potential, I just need to justify why, and research more. Thank you!

garthglasses

Now*

garthglasses

Sorry wrong comment this was for tduds*

garthglasses

As I said I need further research.. but I do think that technology has affected face-to-face conversations. In fact we can experience it. For example, you are diningg at a restaurant with a friend. Your expectation is for you to have some catching up, but then, in reality: cellphones. Cellphones all throughout the day and you didnt even talk.

garthglasses

As I said I need further research.. but I do think that technology has affected face-to-face conversations. In fact we can experience it. For example, you are diningg at a restaurant with a friend. Your expectation is for you to have some catching up, but then, in reality: cellphones. Cellphones all throughout the day and you didnt even talk.

garthglasses

I think that that observation is not ebough for it to be justified. It just gave me an idea that maybe technology/social media may be one of the causes of the disappearance of social interaction. What are your thoughts about this? And what do you think are other factors that cause disappearance of social interaction? Thanky you
! x

tintt

Study how communications have changed behavior in the past, that will give you a starting point. Whether or not or how it ties into architecture, particularly a rehab center (rehab from media?) is another thing.

garthglasses

Thank
you for this! I will look into it as well.

JLC-1

Not to pee on your parade, but I don't think Technology/Social Media  is the "cause" of social interaction disappearance, could you prove it? 

Feb 12, 18 6:30 pm
garthglasses

As I said I need further research.. but I do think that technology has affected face-to-face conversations. In fact we can experience it. For example, you are diningg at a restaurant with a friend. Your expectation is for you to have some catching up, but then, in reality: cellphones. Cellphones all throughout the day and you didnt even talk.

garthglasses

I think that that observation is not ebough for it to be justified. It just gave me an idea that maybe technology/social media may be one of the causes of the disappearance of social interaction. What are your thoughts about this? And what do you think are other factors that cause disappearance of social interaction? Thanky you
! x

JLC-1

You are correct about the "smartphones", just last week we watched a short documentary at my son's school, it was about a mother struggling with their teenage kids and their use of technology,she goes around trying to find out how is it going for other people; some do go to a rehab type of house without tech, some others find balance and do other things like sports and science clubs; so Yes, for a generation that's coming up now, the sole existence of this technology can be a problem, but it's also a necessity - to be connected to their peers at all times. (It's called Screenagers)

JLC-1

I wrote a lot more but this website appears to be failing, no surprise there - other 2 things: individualism and competitiveness ingrained in a generations mind, selfishness and not sharing your crayons. And also, police state and a false sense of safety or danger from strangers and public spaces. The internet becomes the plaza, because you're in your safe space, but not so much anymore.

BulgarBlogger

Your thesis could be a critique... what if you imagined a space or city where everyone had no interpersonal interaction other than the internet? How would that work? Would people talk to each other? How would they interact?

I would investigate how communication has evolved over time with the advent of new technologies and map the decrecendo that you are suggesting exists in human interaction.... Once you have proven the existence of that decrecendo, you can theorize the trajectory and climax of the worst-possible situation and perhaps your project suggests a way out...

Feb 12, 18 8:41 pm
garthglasses

I would take this as a consideration for my study. Thank you very much! Will update this thread if ever I have made progress in continuing this topic (which I hope I can continue).

BulgarBlogger
randomised

.


tintt

Schools are still trying to operate as if there is no technology. And we let these people teach???? From ignorance? What I am saying is why aren't schools changing? Again, this has to do with architecture, but trying to solve problems like this architecturally is futile. Kids are smarter than schools give them credit for. Architects should stick to bricks and steel, but it's unfortunate that architects are the only profession who regularly practices the "what if?" thought progression. 


BulgarBlogger

Tinbeary,

What are you talking about? "Schools are still trying to operate as if there is no technology".

I went to an all laptop school with smart boards and virtual learning software. Mind you, this was over 10 years ago in HS. 

The problem isn't that schools are trying to operate without technology. This is false. The problem is that adolescent behavior takes advantage of the presence of technology and bastardizes the learning/teaching experience. Students find new ways to not pay attention in class, they find new ways of bullying, they find new ways interacting with their environment (during school) using their devices. 

I mean we have online universities for god's sake... imagine you were a high schooler and you were picked on all the time, but the internet allowed you to find friends and people just like you who won't pick on you and you can just tune into that network at any time. Imagine you really disliked science, but loved reading so instead of focusing your science studies, you were reading philosophy (or more likely- harry potter). 

Feb 13, 18 10:14 am
tintt

Technology means school should look different, way different. Why should a student have to sit through a lecture when they can watch a class online? What I am saying is that students know they can just google stuff and learn that way. Schools want to have a monopoly on learning, they want to say in Freshman English, you must read Lord of the Flies for instance so they can check their little boxes. Schools operate as if the point of school is not for learning, but for schooling. Sorry, don't have time for an essay... 

tintt

Meanwhile, technology has given us all this insight into the brain and schools are like, but that's not how we doooo it!!!

BulgarBlogger

I believe that it is important to know some basic cultural stuff... imagine you were an architect and a client asked you a question and your response was - "hang on - let me google it." The whole point of school is that there is a system that is supposed to ensure that you know some important basics. How is a kid supposed to know what is important and what is not?

tintt

Individualize education. You can get anything individualized but education, where it actually makes the most sense. But it involves paradigm-busting.

tintt

You can learn by googling, not "hold on let me google that".

I am afraid that individualized education in the trupian era of alternative facts will not be beneficial for a society that has to function within the context of a singular nation state that is based on ideas and principals not race or ancestry. Having educational standards and putting people through similar academic programs has the potential to give society a basic foundation of facts. Discourse, if it is to be civil and productive, is greatly enhanced when people have some accepted and understood facts laid out at the start. The danger with home schooling and over customization of education is we further self segregate into more distinct and often less compatible tribes. If we allow too much customization of education based on individuals wants we insulate people from new and unfamiliar ideas. The exchange of ideas can be served with common education to a point where we have laid solid foundations for more complex discourse and discovery of new more complex ideas. We can only get to those ideas if we can start with some common understanding achieved from a basic/standard education.

tintt

Individualize the processes, not the content (but some individualizing of that too, just not the focus.)

BulgarBlogger

Tinbeary- I supposed you are a libertarian... 

Feb 13, 18 10:33 am
tintt

What?

tintt

You don't know what a paradigm is, do you? Where did you go to school?

BulgarBlogger

Of course I know what a paradigm is... what I'm saying is that "individualize education" is essentially saying homeschooling; i.e. don't let the government educate your kids, rather you educate your kids. That is a libertarian stance...

tintt

Oh, it doesn't have to mean that, see that's a paradigm. Break the box. I'm talking about reaching students, engaging them instead of running them through obstacle courses and then grading them on it (grade A, like a steak). If all students need different things, why do they mostly get the same thing? If the point of school is learning, why aren't students learning? We know they can learn, they learned to walk, talk, play, all before attending school. If we know classrooms and schools aren't that great of a place to learn, why do we keep insisting on doing it that way?

BulgarBlogger

I agree. I think that somehow we are afraid that kids are going to lose their social skills hehe

tintt

Ha ha! Yeah! An important part of high school is to get knocked up, hence the on-site daycares! Progress!

This is an interesting topic.  How has design, architecture and technology changed social behavior. For example, and there is some research on this, the gay bars are declining as the advent of dating apps makes a gay friendly venue unnecessary for dating in a minority community. Daily rituals and social interactions are profoundly changing. For example when people go to a restaurant they no longer have to look at each other and converse they can whip out their phones and check up on their social media the instant they get bored. Introductions are profoundly changed as people google and research people as they meet them.  The Media landscape also allow people to isolate themselves from intellectual challenges and unfamiliar ideas.

The topic you propose is broad but could be boiled down to a case study of a specific sub cultural group and the spaces they inhabit.

One idea is you could re create the observations of William H. Whyte in his research on the Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. There is a book and a film, worth watching as it is somewhat entertaining with Mr. Whyte's commentary. It would be interesting if the same places and point of view of observation can be used and compared to see if the same public social behaviors occur several decades later.

https://www.pps.org/article/ww...

Hope this helps.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Feb 13, 18 10:35 am
BulgarBlogger

Great idea! I would just caution against the idea that architects can be social engineers...

I think we do engineer social behavior in our work and we do so overtly. For example the design decisions in many new urbanist developments to have detached garages is a form of social engineering. Also the creation of informal meeting spaces on the new technology company campuses is another design feature meant to change social behavior.

BulgarBlogger

Yes - but we can never force people to behave in certain ways... empty plazas in front of skyscrapers are an example...

I agree our powers are limited. Also consider the empty plaza may be the intended designed result.

randomised

I hadn't heard the name William Whyte in years, yet he came up in a discussion I had with a coworker yesterday and now here, I am so going to read his work and watch that movie again in the coming days. Thanks for the reminder!

garthglasses

Thank you everyone for your insights! I highly appreciate it, now Im more driven to continue my research about this topic. Thank you! 

Will update you guys soon x

Feb 14, 18 8:14 am
garthglasses

Update: Hey guys, guess what? My professor liked my topic. But I still dont have any solutions for the problem of disappearance of social interaction and physical behavior caused by technology.

I think Im sticking with re creating the observations of William H. Whyte in his research on the Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, but I dont have any idea what to do next, or where it's going to lead.

Any thoughts? x

Feb 19, 18 9:26 am
garthglasses

I just thought of something.... what if I propose something about: are parks still designed for social interactions considering the impact of the internet/technology on people?

Or something like that.... what do you guys think? 

Feb 19, 18 10:07 am
Finjohn

https://www.psychologytoday.co...

Feb 19, 18 11:12 am

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