Making a home in Living Lab: the limitations and potentials associated with living in a research laboratory
Authors: Publication Year: 2016


Living Lab is a two bedroomed detached house on the edge of the university campus in Trondheim. It is also a research laboratory which is testing state of the art technology committed to achieving Zero emissions within a 100m2 dwelling. The first qualitative experiment in Living Lab will take place from September 2015 to April 2016, when six different resident groups comprising of two to four people, will make Living Lab their home for a period twenty-five days each. The resident groups were chosen because they are associated with three basic demographic categories; students under 30 who are already cohabiting, families with small children and couples around the age of sixty. The resident groups are otherwise different in terms of hobbies, interests, academic and job related background. Their permanent homes are also different; they live in student housing, apartments, detached houses, in urban and rural areas. Participant observation and interviews will be used to gather empirical information before; during and after the six residence periods in Living Lab. This will provide detailed insight into the physical and technical qualities, meaningful and symbolic associations, and everyday practices in both their permanent homes and in Living Lab.
The concept of home suggests both social and physical space; it is also often a major source of identity for men and women. At the same time it is often an idealised model and not a true picture of how people actually live (Munro &Madigan, 1999). The use and understanding of a home that is established is often a negotiation between what is suggested by the physical space and the needs of the social space imposed by family life or other relational activities. The insight gathered in Living Lab will provide understanding of how the concept of home can be established within a highly technical setting and the implications this has for the use of the technology being tested in Living Lab.

Additional Info

  • WP: Energy efficient use and operation
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Name of conference: DEMAND Centre Conference 2016: 'What energy is for: the making and dynamics of demand',
  • Town: Lancaster
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Date of Conference: fredag, 15 april 2016
  • Type: Report

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