Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks

I first watched this presentation because I thought I would learn new insights about social media networking and better ways to share my passion of architecture with readers such as you. But, instead, the person in this video, Mr. Nicholas Christakis, has shared his scientific findings about how people interact with one another.

He brings up some very interesting points that can easily bridge over to the architectural design philosophy that you have been hearing me touch on that is "Experiential Architecture."

In his talk, you will hear him speak about social networks are "living things." Similarly, I would suggest that social networks are living spaces as well. In that, we are directly affected by how we interact with one another by the past and present experiences that we have and how we choose to perceive those experiences. The arena that one experiences these life emotions is "Experiential Architecture."

He makes it clear that it is important to better understand human emotions. That is, in my view, because it is our emotions that affect our behaviours and our perceptions of space.

It is interesting that he points out that even though the occupants of space (my paraphrase) may change, the social network (and the space within the network's experiences) continues to exist as a continuous being.

Some of the experiences that social networks have is due to collective emotions as opposed to individual existence. In other words, even though you may enter into a space with one type of emotion, the space and the social network using that space may affect the way you feel that may be contrary to the way you came into the space.

Finally, the actual structure/architecture of the ties between the social networks, he said, determines the relationships of the members within that space.

This may be a little "heady," but whether you are aware of it or not, architecture - as is social networks - affect how we live and behave.

This is something that will deserve more discussion. Let me know of your opinions about how architecture has shaped your life below in the comment area.

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