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Hoseini, Ali Ghaffarian; Rahinah Ibrahim
Using Social Network Analysis for Visualising Spatial Planning During Conceptual Design Phase
CAADRIA 2007 [Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia] Nanjing (China) 19-21 April 2007
Spatial diagramming exercises with clients are difficult when most clients are not able to visualize the end results of their requirements. This paper would like to introduce a computational tool—Social Network Analysis (SNA)—commonly used in the communications field to study relationships between people we believe can resolve this visualization problem. Our research intent is to affirm whether or not we can use SNA as a spatial planning tool during conceptual building design. We posit that since the nodes and structural relationships between the nodes may have similar architectural characteristics, the tool would enable architects to make changes by moving any spaces on a floor plan while safely maintaining their spatial relationships to other spaces. In this paper, we would like to develop a proof-of-concept model using an available SNA tool to facilitate spatial diagramming visualization during conceptual design phase. We tested the use of a SNA tool at four levels. The first level determined whether we could develop spatial relationship between functional spaces (such as the living room must be adjacent to the front entry). The second level is on setting priorities values for the different nodes and the linkages. The third level determined whether we could develop grouping relationship between several functional spaces that have a common characteristic (such as public versus private spaces) on one horizontal plane. The final fourth level determined whether we could develop multiple layers that are connected by one common connector (such as a staircase in a double-story house). Our models are validated intellectually by visual comparison between our model and another diagramming by Nooshin (2001) that was developed manually. We are most interested in the fourth level because complexity in the spatial diagramming exercises is caused by multi-layered spatial arrangements at the horizontal and vertical planes. We expect our study to provide us guidelines in developing a prototype for a spatial diagramming tool using SNA, which architects can use to resolve visualization problems when conducting the exercise with their clients.