In preparation for a business trip, your list of essentials will most likely include hygiene accessories, small items for your carry-on, and your best suit. It will also include—and perhaps what is most critical—your laptop, cell phone and/or PDA, and perhaps your Mp3 device. Most individuals in today’s society are intimately familiar with some type of electronic resource. Whether it is the online newspaper, electronic journal, the iPhone or BlackBerry, the Kindel or iPad, electronic resources have provided new and convenient ways to access information. If an individual has information they would like to share with the world, it’s possible due to the creation of social media. Social networking sites have provided new opportunities for reaching out to people in their personal social spheres,
and creating new ones. What is most intriguing about the subject of social media and electronic resources is the fact that these resources affect the communication techniques and information needs of the people who use them. Additionally, these resources affect the choices people make concerning where they go to conduct these activities.
The urgent matter for current design and design for the future is the encouragement of human interaction, because we can plan to see less face-to-face interaction as our electronic resources continue to give us more of what we need to execute our goals and satisfy basic communication and resource desires.
By knowing what caused the shift in research methods, and how communication has evolved to its current state, we can better understand how these devices and media have impacted the criteria for designing public spaces.
Public spaces serve a social purpose, engaging users with the environment and providing opportunities for spontaneous conversation. However, more recently these spontaneous conversations are taking place elsewhere, in virtual communities. This is not to claim electronic resources will eliminate traditional methods of information retrieval, and social media will eliminate conversations between strangers altogether. Even so, it would be very difficult to deny that these media have affected some part of most everyone’s lives. Publicly used interiors which respond to the impact digital resources and social media have on communication can re-engage person-to-person interaction in a digital age.
The space is designed to be a research center prototype for a new type of public library. Engaging the user through the environment, encouraging interaction between strangers so they may learn from one another, and narrowing the focus of the services offered to a few strong needs of the community, were a few strong solutions within the space.