I am an architectural researcher soon starting a postdoctoral position at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. During my architectural studies, I was intrigued by the question of in what ways the places we design work for people who use them. However, I found little room for such thinking in a traditional architectural education setting. I was lucky to come across the EDRA during my graduate studies. "People Shaping Places Shaping People" was my first EDRA project, and there I presented a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) research project on indoor environmental quality and green design assessment on high-rise workplaces in Istanbul, Turkey. While I continued to publish on sustainable design and POEs, my publications also expanded into areas of research in which urban public spaces and access to them intersect with rights of pedestrians and bicyclists.
EDRA provided me opportunities for expanding my horizons on studies concerning people and the environment, regularly introduced me to new ideas, and inspired me for future research. Studies on creativity, health-promoting places, and connections between neuroscience and built environments are some examples of such research topics. Meeting with scholars who shared the same interests provided me a sense of relief and let me know the outlook I have about the design world is shared by many others. Thanks to EDRA meetings, I was able to find platforms where I could discuss and exchange ideas on ongoing research and collaborate on exciting projects.
I am happy to announce that one such collaboration is now published as a book that I co-edited with Georgia Lindsay (another EDRA member), titled Revisiting "Social Factors:" Advancing Research into People and Place. The book was born from a small international gathering at University of California, Berkeley, that I organized with Georgia Lindsay and Jonathan Bean (all PhD students of Galen Cranz at the time). The gathering was attended by researchers and practitioners, including many EDRA colleagues, and led to a collection of papers that discussed various subtopics in the “social factors” domain: disadvantaged users, the connection between culture and community participation, the history of social factors, terminologies we depend on to define the field, and healthy environments for children, just to name a few. We hope that this collection of chapters will serve as one of the primary resources for researchers who are interested in the connection between people and space.
The book can be ordered here: http://www.cambridgescholars.com/revisiting-social-factors.