A Methodological Approach for a Socially Interactive Environmental Design

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The goal of this article is to generate an integrated method to help designers generate a socially interactive environment in a more designerly way than current architectural approaches. Environmental designers face severe challenges in designing social interaction methods and lack the necessary tools for such a transition. In this article, diverse methods for social interaction and physical interaction (through environmental design) have been reviewed using content analysis, and aligned to generate the process and framework of the integrated method. The advantages of the resultant Social Interaction Environment Design method include: the initial step being taken by the users, not the client; the term “user’s community” replacing “user”; identifying social interaction investigations on which to base the physical interaction design brief; participation of users in design studies; ideation, ideas screening and ideas generation group; use of programmatic concepts to reach design concepts; and using theatre acting as a way to prototype social interaction and define physical arrangement.