Future spaces for living

Research into the design of living and working spaces for the future city through interactive technologies that represent and respond to the needs of the citizens who live there.

This program aims to engage and enhance the collective intelligence of citizens.

Led by Professor Jeni Paay, this program works through the design of spaces with people-centred interactive technologies, within and around future areas for living. The program is focused on transition to sustainable and liveable homes, businesses, precincts and cities to support citizens in their everyday activities. This program is organised around three intersecting streams: Participative Citizens, Interactive Technologies, and Places for People; each drawing from the knowledge and insights of one another and informing our research projects below.

Designing future living spaces for smart cities

The design of future spaces for living in the smart city involves people, interactive technologies and places for people (Image: Rune Nielsen)

Research projects

Go to Media art as urban storytelling page Media art as urban storytelling

Australian opportunities for data-driven content on large format screens.

Go to Experiencing innovation in lost architecture page Experiencing innovation in lost architecture

The Italian Pavilion at the Paris International Exposition of 1937 and Jørn Utzon’s vision for the Sydney Opera House.

Go to Serious business games page Serious business games

Drawing in immersive games experience to develop tool for workplace support in the digital economy.

Go to Digital identities in a smart city page Digital identities in a smart city

Protecting personal data with a digital wallet.

Current priorities

As people increasingly work from home or public spaces and manage personal tasks from their workplace, boundaries between spaces for work, leisure and family activities are blurring. At the same time, mobile technologies are pervading these places of work and play, facilitating the ability of people to switch between the different activities of work and home, irrespective of their physical location. This requires rethinking the ways in which we design future spaces for everyday activities.

The aim is to design living and working spaces for the future city through user-centred design of interactive technologies that represent and respond to the needs of the citizens who live there. Through citizen involvement in design practices – such as co-design and user testing and evaluation – designers, information scientists and engineers can guide the process of innovating new products, services and spaces that will benefit the individual, and the collective city.

Creating future spaces for living involves both the design and redesign of indoor and outdoor environments in anticipation of changing demographics and industry futures. At the centre of this redesign process is the citizen, and the ways in which they engage in and enhance the process of innovative design for future spaces to support sustainability and liveability. A smart city introduces fresh opportunities for citizens to participate in the design decisions about the urban environment that directly affects them.

User-centred design practices

  • the changing space and service needs of aging urban populations such as dementia, disability, mobility, or social and cultural diversity
  • micro-design (retrofit) options for the adaptation of housing and workplaces
  • future working environments, such as hospitals of the future
  • smart housing, smart appliances, smart meters and smart home operating systems.

Grand challenges

  • How can we develop more sustainable urban lifestyles and practices by placing citizens at the heart of the design process?
  • Can we develop methods for improving public engagement with the design of future spaces for living, including smart housing, smart workplaces, smart appliances, smart meters, smart home operating systems and smart wearables?
  • Can we develop technologies that have the potential to disrupt and transform our cities for increased sustainability and liveability?
  • How can we improve housing access and affordability and address spatial inequalities?
  • How can we design future spaces for living to support wellbeing in ageing populations?
  • Can we predict future needs for spaces supporting homemaking, leisure and working activities, through innovative approaches to social surveys and information modelling?
  • Can innovative design of spaces, such as housing, hospitals, schools, factories and offices, provide solutions to city problems such as mass migration and improving human health?

Contact the Smart Cities Research Institute

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, then get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions.

Call +61 (03) 9214 5177