What is is a prototype web platform with integrated data collection, which mission is to acquire and visually represent favourite meeting places.

What is this web platfrom about?

Our sociability is triggered every time we engage in common activities and seek the pleasure of the company of others, the togetherness.
Social space takes its form at the meeting places, the gathering places, the intersections and crossroads.
We meet regularly, voluntary and informally, beyond the realms of home and work, in coffee-shops, bars, squares, streets...
Our Meeting Places project enhances a participatory narrative of individual stories, creates a collective image of the city and reveals the architecture of our meeting places.

Which community does this project involve?

At the moment Our Meeting Places project is focusing on the favourite meeting places of the community of Weimar in Germany and via the anonymous online questionnaire invites people that live and/or work in Weimar to participate anonymously.
Though the interactive data visualizations of the platform have been explored not only from people in Weimar but from people around the world.

Who are you?

My name is Eleni Digidiki and I designed and developed prototype web platform as part of my master thesis:
The architecture of meeting places: Interactive visual representations of social and spatial relations through a web platform with integrated data collection, supervised by Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dipl.-Des. Bernd Rudolf and Prof. Dr. Frank Eckardt, M.Sc. MediaArchitecture, Bauhaus-Universit├Ąt Weimar, Germany.
I am honoured to announce that the project "Our Meeting Places" was nominated by an international jury for the 2014 Media Architecture Biennale Awards as one of the three outstanding projects in the category "participatory architecture and urban interaction".

Give us a basic summary of the thesis.

This master thesis is inspired by the works of Lynch, Milgram, Jodelet, Whyte on social and spatial representations and approaches meeting places and urban space through the concepts of Lefebvre, Joseph, Simmel, Oldenburg, McQuire and Wood.
The scope of the master thesis is to enable both qualitative and quantitative exploration of favourite meeting places.
The expectation is that social network analysis would support a cognitive understanding of socio-spatial relations, while interactive visual representations would enhance a participatory narrative of individual stories and create a collective image of the city.
Interactive visualization as research practice provides the opportunity to share interdisciplinary research in other forms beyond the written word.
To fulfill this scope, web platform was developed as prototype and the city of Weimar was chosen as case study.
The platform was launched on June 11, 2014.

Where did you get the data?

The data are community-generated and are acquired via the anonymous online questionnaire.
The process of collecting the data started on June 11, 2014, when platform was launched.
This is an on-going process, the more people will submit their favourite meeting places, the richer the visualizations will get.

How is this platform developed?

In order for the web platform to be accessible to a broad audience, a number of design principles were considered and followed, such as: responsive web design, cross-platform accessibility, colour palette for people with and without colour vision deficiency, user-centred design, free and open-source software.
The platfrom is developed with HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, d3.js library, SVG, DOM, JSON, SQL and the LAMP software bundle: Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database management system, PHP programming language.

Where can we find additional information?

You can find out more at the poster of the thesis presentation and at, the blog that accompanied the development of this thesis.

What are the nexts steps?

The plan is to expand the platform and address more communities and cities in the future. The platform was developed with this scenario in mind.


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