Changes in Shared Spaces for Social Interaction: A Socio-Temporal Evaluation of Real Estate Apartments in Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka
This paper evaluates the role of shared spaces within contemporary real estate apartments in Dhanmondi Residential Area in Dhaka-based on users' adaptation for social interaction by comparing two assessments separated by seven years. While these apartments provide regular and designed shared spaces for generating social interactions, besides dwelling units, do people change themselves for making changes in their setting—social space—for social interaction? This paper probes this question when afiuent communities living in apartments, belonging to a wide-ranging socio-economic background, face a higher degree of hesitation for social interaction than those living in traditional rangements and resulting to a socially unit group. The issue of social interaction within apartment community, this paper argues, becomes equally important with other issues of apartment planning and design. The shared spaces of six apartments of Dhanmondi R/A were evaluated through ethnographic study and post-occupancy evaluation (POE) method based on observations made in 2008 and 2015. A socio-temporal evaluation gives evidence to the 'then-now' condition of the apartments and the social and spatial changes taking place in regular and designed shared spaces of the same apartments. The ndings from a 'then-now' comparison assert apartments' growing and transforming with the change of its inhabitants and their needs, and are evident in its regular and designed shared spaces for social interaction. In conclusion, the ndings support the rationale of evaluating the built environment performance to provide design feedback as it ruminates social and behavioural issues considering the users' standpoint.