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We are taking an informed bet that the influence of the social internet on architecture is about to become more widespread and, as this is the subject of Shiro director Graham Lauren’s post-graduate research study and special interest, this is something about which we are definitely keen to know more. 

To this end, on the basis of the synopsis he submitted, below, Graham was commissioned by the Australian FM (Facility Management) Magazine to write a 1200-word feature for its August 2019 print edition. (He had previously written this piece about his research into workplace strategy for its January 2017 issue.)

As at today, July 26, 2019, the item has been written and submitted to FM and is in the process of being added in pre-production to its pages. As such, we can’t reproduce it here, but the following will give you an idea of what is to come, and the interviews Graham conducted yielded evidence that his suppositions about the growing influence of the social internet on the more precise configurations and design of commercial buildings are correct. 

When it is published, is available and we are able, we will certainly reproduce or link to it here. On account of his identification of universal post-Facebook internet social literacy and his interest in how this may transform organisational and workplace knowledge into reports managers and leaders can act on, Graham publishes his related site, The Learning Economy, on the subject here.

If this subject is of interest to you, find out here how to turn your own business’s knowledge into management action by building its knowledge map and learning model on a familiar Wikipedia-style framework.

Synopsis for FM Magazine feature, working title: The practical applications of social media in managing today’s property customer

As our use of and familiarity with using the social internet grows, we may have reached an age of unprecedented opportunity in the supply, design, procurement and marketing of commercial property.

In the wake of Facebook, everybody knows how to use social media to write online, upload and share material and to make comments about those items uploaded by others.

We could describe our proficiency in using this new form of shared online communication as “internet social literacy.” 

Because everybody knows how to search and can respond to enquiries online in writing, we are also able to encounter, tease out and bring attention to many more, often unexpected, ideas.

And when they are in writing, those documented thoughts, ideas and wishes can be gathered, made sense of, summarised and reported on.

When this is done, anything considered worth exploring further can be queried and tested.

Through this, working together, we can find better ways of doing pretty much anything.

Previously, it used to be hard, if not impossible, to capture and transform into usable information the knowledge and insights of those across an organisation. 

Yet, with mirroring, private, Facebook-like technologies now available internally within, or, online, to, every business, what was once out of reach is no longer beyond our grasp. 

No one now has to be trained to use social technologies in order to make their contribution to that pool of knowledge.

Those skills are now found every employee in every company and, in turn, every customer of each of those businesses.

Therefore, people across the workplace may engage with these tools to contribute to, and to help shape the intelligence of, the organisation in which they work, based on what they, uniquely, know, can learn and bring, believe and have experienced.

If managed well, this explicit, written source of information offers a new and formidable potential in every business, as management now has access to an abundant and renewable resource, whose creativity may be limited only by its imagination in what it asks for.

It can tap into diverse perspectives and intelligence that was previously underused because it was unknown and unreachable.

With our shared social internet literacy unlikely to go backwards in any foreseeable horizon, because it is now written down and can be tested, our now wholly connected intelligence and shared resourcefulness can become a force for new inventiveness.

The new learning and change this will spur will become an unstoppable force in reshaping our world.

In commercial property, the new customer and product knowledge quick, agile operators can capture and create may now become the source of great potential competitive, or negotiating, advantage.

So, my piece aims to explore what the implications of this advance and of the emergence of this new intelligence and customer are for:

  • The design of facilities for work and for living, when the knowledge of those users most concerned about the facilities they inhabit can be fed back in detail, at speed, into the configuration and specification of the spaces they use.
  • The whole knowledge mix of digital intelligence feeding into design and building of properties in the face of evolving construction methods and “intelligent” materials.
  • The design of property’s supplier organisations themselves, and how they will adapt and learn to keep on top of and harness these evolving changes in capability.
  • The ways in which knowledge is captured for these purposes in the future.
  • Who wins, and who loses.