Facing an abbreviated schedule for the information-gathering phase of the Surrey City Centre Libary, Bing Thom Architects (BTA) turned to social media for real-time public input. The result was spectacular!
in November 2009 Bing Thom, winner of the 2011 RAIC gold medal, was commissioned to build a $36M, 80,000 square foot library in the Vancouver suburb. Funds for the library project, from Canada’s Federal Infrastructure program, mandated that the money be used by strict deadline or be lost. But with little time for standard due dilligence , BTA launched a library website, Facebook page, YouTube presence, Twitter account, and RSS feed, inviting public comment. The sites were populated with images of the project and invited users to publish their own images and text regarding their ideas for the future library in an online “ideasbook.”
The respondent group was more diverse than the crowd that usually shows up for public forums. The largest percentage of the library’s 487 Facebook fans, for example, are under 25. The second largest are women, age 35-44.
Check out FASTCO Design’s coverage of Bing Thom’s use of social media in the design of the Surrey City Centre Library.