Social Networks and Architecture. Think About It.

Bruce Nussbaum

This from Jessi Hempel, now covering innovation full-time with me:

Hey Bruce, a quick note for the blog: This morning I spoke with Michael Fazio, a Chicago-based architect and principal with Archideas, about the work he’s done with Jump Associates. He worked with Dev Patniak and the Jumpsters to design the new Jump space. He described the community-based planning model that he uses to approach design in which he maps the informal social networks that dominate an organization. Before designing a new space, Fazio surveys employees, asking a number of questions like: Who would you bounce ideas off of? And: Who would you hang out with?

Fazio says that identifying the strength and density of these networks leads to “a spider chart of relationships that is more powerful than the org chart in terms of how work gets done.” Apparently others appreciate his strategy. He has just been retained by Chicago’s Institute of Design to work with them to design their space. Fazio will work with ID initially to evaluate whether to remodel their existing building, remodel one of a half-dozen nearby buildings, or design a new structure."

Is this going to be a new core competence for architects? Is any school teaching this stuff?

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