Research methods for the design of smart environments: a comparison between two types of buildings

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Purpose - This research aims to evaluate different design and research methods for their applicability to the design of smart environments. It focuses on methods that are able to capture human emotions, feelings and interaction with their environments. The article will focus on a comparison of different design methods in the light of smart buildings and will further explore these comparisons by using two types of buildings (housing for older
adults and schools).
Design/methodology/approach – This article is a literature study on design methods, comparing literature on different types of design (such as user-centred design or codesign). Afterwards these insights are applied to two types of buildings, specifically smart housing for older adults and smart schools.
Originality/value – This research shows the importance of designing with empathy in the design and research into smart buildings. Furthermore, it examines different design methods for different stages of the design. Lastly, it applies these Methodological insights to two building types.
Practical implications – For designing of and research on smart environments it is important that designers and researchers develop a sense of empathy for the users. It helps to give a more complete view of the user in terms of how they make sense of their environment and the interaction with their environment. This article contributes specifically to how this can be applied in the case of smart schools and smart buildings for older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocietal Impact of Knowledge and Design 
Subtitle of host publication13th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics
Place of PublicationDelft
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-96687-11-6
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018
Event2018 International Forum on knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD 2018) - Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Jul 20186 Jul 2018
Conference number: 13


Conference2018 International Forum on knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD 2018)
Abbreviated titleIFKAD 2018
OtherSocietal Impact of Knowledge and Design
Internet address


  • smart environments
  • design methods
  • design methodology
  • older adults
  • schools


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