Social Architecture

The process of building culture by design

December 21, 2017

Can architecture influence how people interact and learn?

We’re convinced that it can. Drawing on our extensive experience designing innovative post-secondary learning environments and collaborative workplaces, we ensured that the Nest’s architecture would support the social aims of our clients – namely, to create a student centre that would foster a culture of sustainability and shared striving.



Most of this publication is a case study about the AMS Student Nest, the University of British Columbia’s new Student Union Building, which we designed in collaboration with DIALOG.* Our clients on that project were UBC’s students – most of the funding for the Nest came from student fees. UBC’s students wanted a building that would be an exemplar of environmental, social, and economic sustainability. They envisioned the Nest as a hub of engagement where people would enjoy coming together to learn new skills, exchange ideas, study, and socialize.

Before we get into the specifics of the Nest, however, we would like to explain what we mean by “Social Architecture,” and how we developed this concept through our work on previous post-secondary projects – two schools of engineering in particular.

*The design team on this project is formally identified as “DIALOG + B+H Associated Architects.”