CHI 2018 Workshop

Living Labs: Measuring Human Experience in the Built Environment

Montréal, Canada

Date: April 22, 2018 (During CHI 2018)

Humans now spend 90% of their time indoors. The indoor environment can have a profound impact on people’s behaviors, health, and general well-being. It has become increasingly important to understand how people react to and interact with their environment to optimize indoor spaces for the people who occupy them.

More than half of the world population (54%) currently lives in urban areas, and that share is expected to rise to 66% by 2050. The built environment, both indoor and outdoor, is increasingly shaping human experience worldwide.

Recent technological advancements in integrative building systems, automated sensing technologies, and biometric monitoring make it possible to quantify aspects of the indoor and outdoor environment and people’s experience in them in ways that were previously impossible.

A new methodology that is leveraging these advancements is the “living lab”. In this methodology, aspects of an environment are varied and occupants’ consequent reactions and behaviors to environmental changes are measured. This approach can be implemented within tightly-controlled lab spaces or out in the real world. Findings from living lab research can be directly applied across multiple disciplines aiming to improve human health and well-being through technology, design, and behavior change.

This workshop will build the CHI community of members working on living labs or related projects (e.g., smart homes, smart cities) and foster discussion among participants about their experiences, challenges, and future directions.

Specifically, the workshop will provide an overview of the technological and research capabilities of living labs and discuss how advancements in mobile sensing technology may allow researchers to extend living lab capabilities into the real world. In addition, this workshop will summarize how insights from living labs can inform innovative applications aiming to improve the experience of building occupants. Finally, this workshop will highlight how the success of living labs depends on the engagement of researchers and practitioners from across disciplines.

Through this workshop, we hope to stimulate discussion about living labs and how they can best be utilized to study human-environment interactions and encourage members of the CHI community to engage in future collaborative research.