• Projects
      • Adaptive Environments (AE)
    • Keywords
    • Adaptive environments, smart homes and cities, interaction/inhabitation, IoT, AmI, data-driven design-to-production and operation, material systems, robotics, cyber-physical systems (CPS), HCI
    • Project Partners
    • HHenriette Bier (TUD), Holger Schnädelbach (UON), Kristof Van Laerhoven (UFR), Keith Green (Cornell), Sebastian Vehlken (ULue), Justin Dirrenberger (CNAM)
  • Adaptive Environments (AE)

    As an international collaborative framework, Adaptive Environments is advancing cutting-edge research around spatial constructs and systems that are specifically designed to be adaptive to their surroundings and to their inhabitants. The creation and understanding of such adaptive environments spans the expertise of multiple disciplines, from architecture to design, from materials to urban research, from wearable technologies to robotics, from data mining to machine learning and from sociology to psychology. Focus is on interaction between human and non-human agents, with people being both the drivers and recipients of adaptivity as that is embedded into environments. The focus is also on design, from the inception to the development and to the operation of adaptive environments, while considering digital technologies as underpinning the experimental and every-day implementations in this area.


    Fig. 1: Design-to-Robotic-Production and Operation implemented at TUD (2014-16)

    First project, AE Springer book series, has been kicked off during the Robotic Building session (http://gsm3.hyperbody.nl/robotic-building.html) at the Game Set Match #3 symposium, TUD:

    Adaptive Environments are concerned with spatial constructs and systems that are specifically designed to be adaptive to their surroundings and to their inhabitants. The field has developed over the last 100 years and includes an expansive variety of works, ranging from modernist classics to current buildings, from research prototypes to inhabited structures, and from small scale homes to large scale urban interventions. More recently, the broad availability of computing has caused an explosion in development of Adaptive Environments, as computation itself has become pervasive and end-user and developer expertise around computing has become increasingly commonplace. And so, examples of Adaptive Environments range from Rietveld's Schröder House to Ban's Naked House, from Koolhas' Maison Bordeaux to DRMM's Sliding House, from Mozer's Adaptive House to SPEC's ADA, and from Khan's Open Columns to the network of public screens in Oulu.

    To outline what is considered as part of the Adaptive Environments paradigm for the purposes of this book series, it is worth briefly stepping back. The field can most usefully be characterised through three continua that are all intertwined with each other. The first one is scale. From materials to objects, from clothing to furniture and finally from rooms to buildings and cities, the field considers the entire span from micro to macro scales. The second continuum is autonomy. Adaptations include those that are manually operated and device powered, those that are reactive to people and environments and automated and finally those that that are predictive and those that show signs of intelligence. Alongside scale and levels of autonomy, forms of human interaction are of critical concern, from interaction driven by physiological responses, via our hands and full body interaction, and from individuals to pairs, to groups of people and whole populations. The interplay of scale, level of autonomy and forms of interaction creates a large space of possibilities that continues to be explored and understood.

    This also creates substantial challenges to be addressed, raising questions of design, engineering, interaction, accessibility, risks, privacy and ethics. This has brought together research interests in architecture and urbanism, which has sought to become more digital with research interests in computing, which has sought to become more physical. Developments are further fuelled by work emerging from the Arts, Engineering, Material Science and Artificial Intelligence, and its understanding is underpinned by the Humanities, Psychology and Social Science.

    Fig.2: Wearable computing combined with spatial robotics (Cheng and Bier, 2016)

    This book series has the simple aim to provide a forum for exchange across the many disciplines around the common theme of Adaptive Environments, whether it emerges from academia or practice. The AE series will set out to focus publications around the following three overlapping topic streams: (1) Interaction and Inhabitation - taking a human-centric approach and focusing on the ways in which people and adaptive environments influence each other (2) Design-to-production and operation - taking a design-centric approach and concentrating on how the trajectories of design, production and operation integrate in adaptive environments (fig. 1&2) and (3) Computation sensing and actuation - taking a technology-centric approach and investigating the underlying technological concerns of adaptive environments.