Monday, 14 April 2008

Designing Around Social Structures

I came across this quote from the architectural school at McGill:

"We design physical structures around social ones!"

What a great thought. And then I got to thinking:

Is this how most people design customer experiences? Or in fact, do they build websites and tack on "social features." Do most people try to understand the dynamics of networks and the edge or do they instead try to build "social media" strategies. Are they trying to figure out how to connect with customers (or facilitate customers connecting with each other) or are they trying to figure out their Web 2.0 strategy?

Designing physical structures around social ones means going far deeper than we ever have before to understand what is at the heart and soul of our customers needs. It means figuring out the whys and the seismic shifts that are affecting identity construction, culture and community.

I think that might be my mantra from now on.

"Build digital structures around social ones."

A sunny thought for a sunny Monday. :)


John-Scott Dixon said...

Yeah - that's hot!

Reminds me of a story about an architect that created a university campus. On purpose, he didn't pave sidewalks between the buildings. A year after it had been in use, he came back and paved the trails. His purpose was keeping the grass healthy.

Great observation!

mike said...

Through a friend who highlighted a similar link about architects and interior designers. I went along to an event where they discussed it. They presented thinking behind the different social interactions within different types of companies. How they addressed it with design of their surroundings. Then the difference between a company that needs to bring people together as a priority of business vs a company that does it as a nice to have.
Brillant... I wish I took more notes

Leigh said...

Both great examples. Wish I had been at that talk @mike it would be interesting to know what type of thinking frameworks they were using.

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