The Living Lab
Talis is collaborating with other involved partners to find housing concepts that align with the newly arising needs of (vulnerable) renters. This is so they can provide more appropriate housing for this growing group and increase the community reliance and vitality of housing communities. . One possibility that Talis wants to explore is encouraging interactions between complex and neighbourhood residents. This may help prevent social isolation among residents and encourage residents to report problems with renters earlier. In practice, the success of meeting spaces varies. Some spaces are heavily used while others are not. Therefore, we are investigating how to use spatial, technological, and social means to promote the use of meeting spaces and the interactions between residents that take place there.
The goal is to optimize the use of existing meeting spaces to promote contact between residents and use of the spaces, and to develop design guidelines and concepts that Talis can use when (re)developing meeting spaces.
We used literature research to identify the social-spatial factors that can affect a) the use of a meeting space and b) the interaction that takes place between residents in this space. By observing the different meeting spaces of Talis and mapping out the context in which these spaces are located, we were able to determine the extent to which these spaces are suitable and equipped to promote gatherings. Through interviews with residents (users and non-users of meeting spaces), we also identified what motivates or hinders people from using the meeting space and starting a conversation with fellow residents.
In this way, Talis gains more insight into (the potential of) its meeting spaces for facilitating gatherings and the areas that still need to be improved. Based on these points of attention, architects at HAN develop design guidelines for the (re)design of meeting spaces. In co-creation sessions that we organize with residents, these guidelines are converted into design concepts and products for more effective meeting spaces.
Thus far, the results have clearly indicated the expectations held within the housing corporation; expectations about meeting spaces, the opportunities to get residents even more involved by actively stimulating gatherings, and the problems that are noticed in everyday practice and that still require attention. It has also been established which spatial, social, and organizational factors may influence the success or failure of meeting spaces. These factors include routing, visibility of the space, suitability of the space for multifunctional use, homeliness, composition and size of the resident group, and the way in which the space is managed.
By assessing the meeting spaces of Talis based on these factors, we now know what the socialspatial potential is of the different communal spaces and where there is room for improvement. These insights have been translated into a first set of design guidelines for effective meeting spaces. In co-creation with residents, these design guidelines have been translated into design concepts for two specific meeting spaces of Talis. The co-creation sessions also led to two products that can help bring about meetings between residents in a meeting space: an interactive table that can assist residents in starting a conversation and a communicating wall that helps residents to express their common identity and promote a sense of ownership of the space.