Revisiting "Social Factors": Advancing Research into People and Place
Research in Social Factors, also called Environment and Behavior Studies or Person-Environment Relations, is research into the human experience of the built environment. Even since its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, as a response to the perceived failures of Modernism, Social Factors continues to ask questions about how people use space, and what meaning that space holds. This edited collection brings together cutting-edge research and contemporary issues into one book. Divided into two parts, the chapters in this collection demonstrate the continuing relevance of, and the wide array of topics in, the field.
The first section, History and Future Outlook, addresses the field itself, investigating its history and common terms and updating seminal work. The second section, Perspectives on the User, surveys contemporary research into the human side of design, understanding the built environment through the lens of valuing “the user”, a term which encompasses everyone from Native Americans to children to adults with disabilities to entire cities devastated by tornadoes.
Contributors to this volume include emerging and established scholars, as well as practitioners, and touch on issues of sustainability, history, culture, new media, disaster recovery, health, and recreation. This book will particularly appeal to scholars looking to keep abreast of current issues, students of the field endeavouring to understand their chosen subject, and practitioners exploring new strategies in understanding the clients they serve. The array of topics and perspectives examined here demonstrates a renaissance of Social Factors.
Georgia Lindsay is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Environmental Design Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on the user perspective on architecture, and she is currently working on a book about the user perspective in contemporary museum design, due out in 2016. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lusi Morhayim is an architectural researcher and received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include the right to the city, health and architectural design, bioclimatic design, and post-occupancy evaluations. She has taught architectural research in the United States and design studios in Turkey. Prior to that she practiced architecture.
"Importantly, this text is not simply for those of us already familiar with, drawn to, or invested in revisiting Social Factors: in fact, it can inform research and practice in other fields as well. First, it offers an agile framework for thinking about and designing for the intersections of people and place, a topic of interest to geographers, historians, and public health researchers, to name just a few. Second, its authors collectively call for reform in design education—a timely topic as we consider the challenges of designing in a world defined by increasing diversity and complexity—and offer case studies that would be at home in many (interdisciplinary) course syllabi. Finally, this book is edifying reading for designers of all types: a reminder of the value of the social perspective and a toolkit for how to think about and design for the social use of space."
Caitlin DeClercq University of California, Berkeley Space & Culture, 18.08.2017
"The notion of 'social factors' – which first emerged in the 1960s as part of an increased collaboration between designers and social scientists – has led a double life. In architectural circles the attention to the 'user' lost favour in the discursive upheaval of the 1970s, but it continued to provide a basis for research and scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities. By 'revisiting' this notion, the contributors to this volume, led by Georgia Lindsay and Lusi Morhayim, pose an important question: what can we learn by bridging this divide? This two-part book offers a cogent response that includes a short historical overview of terms and ideas and a fascinating array of examples from current work. Clear and succinct, it offers the reader a useful introduction to the topic."
Avigail Sachs, PhD Assistant Professor, Architecture and Landscape History and Theory, University of Tennessee
Buy This Book