How people experience place is a core interest of the ETLab, stretching across many different research programs, and reflecting our transdisciplinary interests in technology, design, the built environment and the multiple locations where everyday life occurs.  By foregrounding experience, we investigate how to understand and design for future shared environments that are sustainable, inclusive and support human flourishing.

Recognising that place is profoundly shaped by architecture and design, in this theme we engage with human occupation and inhabitation, sensory apprehension and spatial narration. In attending to the social and experiential aspects of place, our projects build a range of critical concepts and reflect inventive methods and forms of representation that can take material, written and visual forms.

Our future environments will be shared with people, technologies, animals, non-humans (such as robots and drones), and possible hybrid forms which remain uncertain and unknown. Emerging technologies, data, automation and early forms of AI are already becoming ubiquitous as part of our everyday environments, and are part of how we navigate, sense and feel where and who we are, in cities, at home, when commuting, or working. Even if these are distributed unequally globally and with differing social impacts, they contribute to how the experience of places are refigured, for instance through the sharing economy, the use of personal data, or when automated technologies such as lighting shifts public atmospheres. The spatial aspects of such technologies are also part of policy and industry agendas, in smart cities, new mobility systems and digital health services.

This theme represents our commitment to ensuring that our future shared environments will be equitable, inclusive and sustainable. It reflects and calls for new interdisciplinary approaches to understanding place that attend to how they will feel, sensorially and emotionally, and how they can be constituted in ways that engage citizens as stakeholders in their futures.

View our Methods research