PhD Research Overview

Cognitively enabled built environments : new tools for architects.

Research Interest
Can the embedding of ubiquitous computing technology into architectural practice and the fabric of the built
environment deliver measured improvements in usability, comfort and efficiency?

The application of ubiquitous computing within the built environment has to date been limited, primarily, to
the fields of peer-to-peer communication, entertainment, office workflow productivity, and more recently,
wayfinding. The research will explore the opportunity for greater involvement of human dialogue with the
built environment, mediated by cognitive elements that have been incorporated into its fabric by design. The
focus will be the theory behind the language of this dialogue and its use towards the sustainability of the
ecosystem of the building, its inhabitants and its environment.

Aims and Objectives
The aims of the research are:

  • To create processes and methods whereby architects can integrate knowledge of ubiquitous
    computing within architectural practice, and ubiquitous computing technologies within architectural
    components, for the design and delivery of cognitive environments.
  • To enable built environments to better sense their holistic involvement with inhabiting species in
    order that life-cycle sustainability can be better measured, understood and improved via a process of
    continuous adaptation.
  • To improve the methods through which purposeful interaction of inhabitants with the built
    environment can be achieved.

The aims of the research will be accomplished through the realisation of the following objectives:

  • Conceptual framework for dialogue between the building, its inhabitants and its environment.
  • Testbed capability using the infrastructure of the AIR building at UCF Tremough (including the inbuilt
    functionality of the Building Management System) to understand and explore the interactions
    between the building and its inhabitants, testing and developing the conceptual framework through
    practical application.
  • Testbed capability in a bespoke installation incorporating insights to date.
  • Demonstration with architectural partners Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole (PBWC) using developed
    methods, processes and technologies.