Project title: The Organization of Social Spaces as a Condition for the High Quality of Human Life in the Digital Era: an Interdisciplinary Approach

Project manager: Irina P. Kuzheleva-Sagan, Doctor of Philosophy, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Social Communications of TSU, Head of Laboratory of Humanitarian New Media Technologies TSU

Main executives:

  • Steve Millington, a Director of the Institute of Place Management Special Interest Group for Place Making and a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
  • Roberto Bruni, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Business Management at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio – Italy
  • Michael A. Sirenko, Junior Researcher, Faculty of Technology, Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • Dina I. Spicheva, PhD (Philosophy); Associate professor at the Department of Social Communication, Tomsk State University; Deputy Head of the Laboratory of Human New Media Technologies, Faculty of Psychology, Tomsk State University
  • Gulnafist A. Okushova, Associate Professor at the Department of Social Communication at National Research Tomsk State University, PhD in Philosophy
  • Andrey P. Glukhov, Associate Professor at the Department of Social Communication at National Research Tomsk State University, PhD in Philosophy
  • Irina V. Guzhova PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Social Communication, National Research Tomsk State University;
  • Snezhana S. Nosova, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social Communication of the Faculty of Psychology at National Research Tomsk State University, post-graduate student at the Department of Philosophy at National Research Tomsk State University
  • Natalia A. Karnaukhova, Senior lecturer of the Department of Social Communications of the Faculty of Psychology, National Research Tomsk State University
  • Ekaterina V. Polyanskaya, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Communication, Faculty of Psychology, National Research Tomsk State University

Abstract:

This research deals with organizing and managing different types of social spaces as an important condition for the high quality of human life in the digital era, including brand management of places that are seen as important elements of the human environment. The characteristics of these spaces are identified within the context of the hybrid ontology (‘real virtuality’ and ‘virtual reality’) and the high mobility of the network society (digital nomadism). The term ‘social space’ implies objectively or conventionally localized space that possesses the following characteristics: 1) simultaneous reality and virtuality (the latter is provided through using digital technologies and wireless communications) and 2) multifunctionality.

The range of functions of social spaces of different types can be different depending on the specific tasks (educational, cultural, scientific, consumer-oriented, entrepreneurial and others). However, the social function of social spaces always remains unchanged: this function satisfies one of the basic psychological needs – interrelationships with other people (i.e. social communications). Social spaces are aimed at minimizing or neutralizing the ‘toxicity’ of the digital environment that threatens the humans with ‘digital schizophrenia’ (Douglas Rushkoff), losing the cultural identity, and breaking social connections. Besides, if social spaces are created in accordance with the modern demands to ecology and design, they become important in attracting the most mobile groups of population: students, tourists, entrepreneurs, investors, invited professionals, labor migrants, digital nomads and others

Therefore, we can suggest that including a large number of highly technological multifunctional social spaces in the architecture of the digital society enhances the quality of people’s life, creating comfortable conditions for their successful socialization and personal fulfillment. This also increases the attractiveness of places, as they are becoming a part of the brand for different target publics.

The results of this research will have both scientific and applied value, which will result in the set of recommendations on organizing different social spaces for governmental, commercial and non-commercial organizations.

A distinctive feature of this research project is its implementation in the conditions of 1) wide-ranging interdisciplinary representation; 2) partnership with the Institute of Place Management — IPM, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, the initiator of creating the network of scientific and educational institutions dealing with place management, and creating the world-wide agenda in the development of the professional standards of place management, branding and marketing, and 3) including Laboratory of Humanitarian New Media Technologies TSU in this international network.