Dr Kerstin Sailer, University College London (profile)
Title: The Analysis of Spatial and Social Networks in Complex Buildings
Abstract: Considering spatial variables in the analysis of social and economic activity is not new. It reaches back to research conducted in the first half of the 20th century, when for instance the social ties between workers in the Bank Wiring Room Study were related to their spatial location in the factory or when the prevalence of friendship was associated with distances between the homes of couples in a housing block and called ‘propinquity effect’.
Despite a growing interest in analysing spatial and geographical networks, as for example manifest in the special issue of the journal Social Networks (Vol 32, Issue 1, 2012) dedicated to integrating spatial and social network analyses, spatial approaches are still rather rarely found in the new fields of network science and network analysis.
Therefore, this talk will look at space from a dedicated network perspective and analyse the space inside complex buildings as a network using the method of ‘Space Syntax’. The concepts and methods of Space Syntax research will be introduced briefly and three different building types (museums, hospitals and offices) will be investigated asking the question what can be learnt about the emergence of social life and behavioural patterns of people using those buildings by looking at spatial networks inside buildings. The talk will also present recent research on how an analysis of spatial networks can give insights into the understanding of social networks of interaction and communication among building users.