On the temporality of adaptive built environments

Hamed S Alavi, Himanshu Verma, Jakub Mlynar, Denis Lalanne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


Recognizing the relation between inhabitants and their built environmentsas a feedback loop, our aim is to capture the temporality of this loop in various sce-narios of adaptation. We specifically focus on the emerging types of adaptation thatare motivated by digitally acquired personal data, leading to either automation oraction taken by the building stakeholders. Between the microscopic daily mutations(e.g. automated adaptation to occupants’ presence or activity) and the macroscopicevolution of built environments, we identify a “mesoscopic” scale and argue forbroadening its consideration in the research domain of adaptive built environments.In mesoscopic adaptations, inhabitants’ data undergo a process of thorough analy-sis and scrutiny, the results of which inform the re-envisioning of building designfor its next cycles over the course of months-years. This contribution distinguishesand elaborates on four temporal scales of adaptation (minutes-hours, days-weeks,months-years, decades-centuries) and then exemplifies the meso-scale with a studyconducted over three years within a living lab context. Through this example, wealso aim to demonstrate the opportunity for living lab methodologies to contributeto the research on adaptive built environments at the mesoscopic scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeople, Personal Data and the Built Environment
EditorsH. Schnädelbach, D. Kirk
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-70875-1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Human-building interaction
  • Temporality of adaptations
  • Living lab
  • Mesoscopic developments
  • Human-centric architecture


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