Abstract

Social network analysis software has been used in this study to reveal individual and collective perceptions of space from different perspectives. The paper outlines how to analyse an ‘environment-response’ semantic network of a user group and that of the architect. The semantic network of the designer was found to be quite different from the users of their designs, a starting point from which to question how far designers of space are able to anticipate what impressions and reactions their designs elicit in users. Determining what thematic clusters or topics emerge (called ‘metatopics’ in the study) from the networks is a primary aim. The networks usually contain 4-7 metatopics. A range of network analysis algorithms, calculating measures such as centrality and proportional strength of ties are applied to identify important constructs and help identify metatopics. These metatopics can also themselves be ranked and compared through network analysis indicators. Through these tools, new observations on the structure of collective mental representations of built environments are gathered.

Keywords:

Semantic Networks, Network Analysis, Perception, Designed Environments, Interviews

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Thinking About Design Experience: A Semantic Network Approach

Social network analysis software has been used in this study to reveal individual and collective perceptions of space from different perspectives. The paper outlines how to analyse an ‘environment-response’ semantic network of a user group and that of the architect. The semantic network of the designer was found to be quite different from the users of their designs, a starting point from which to question how far designers of space are able to anticipate what impressions and reactions their designs elicit in users. Determining what thematic clusters or topics emerge (called ‘metatopics’ in the study) from the networks is a primary aim. The networks usually contain 4-7 metatopics. A range of network analysis algorithms, calculating measures such as centrality and proportional strength of ties are applied to identify important constructs and help identify metatopics. These metatopics can also themselves be ranked and compared through network analysis indicators. Through these tools, new observations on the structure of collective mental representations of built environments are gathered.

 

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