I am a Senior Researcher at the Human-IST Research Institute, affiliated with the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Currently pursuing my post-doctoral research, I am working on projects which attempt to consolidate the perspectives of spatiality (architectural and urban spaces), sensing, and interaction design in order to have an impact on aspects related to Sustainability, Well-Being, Collaboration, and User Experience. I hold a PhD in Computer Science from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). Situated at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Social Cognition, and completed in 2015, my dissertation examined the relationship between collaborating groups and their interactions with shared artifacts and environment, with implications for Computer Supported Collaborative Work/Learning (CSCW/L) and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) research.
With a curious disposition and backed by action and design research methods, my current research is focused on the study of affordances of architectural spaces and environments, and their relationship to the interactive experiences with or within the built environments. More specifically, this entails the understanding of – individual and societal – perception and mental models grounded in the socio-cultural context. The specificity of architectural and urban spaces, and the experiences they shape and guide, complicate the pathways to this understanding, as every experience is unique in nature and intensity, and infused in the daily fabric of life. Besides, the evolution of our living, working, and other socio-cultural practices raises pertinent questions about the future of architectural and urban spaces, and how they would adapt to these changes. Furthermore, these changes must be grounded within the ascribed functionality of architectural environments, including aspects associated with inhabitants’ health and well-being, supporting and augmenting diverse set of activities, and afford for sustainability in terms of energy and carbon-footprint.
Encompassed within the emerging notion of Human-Building Interaction, my research, currently examines the extensive spectrum of embedded interactions, mobility, and collaboration with/within the built environment. Broadly, attempting to answer the question “How do inhabitants – both individually and collectively – use the space within the built environments?”, we are naturally consolidating the aspects related to how the inhabitants perceive the space and associate meaning to it. Furthermore, as our perception and experience of space cannot be studied in isolation, it has to be grounded in the context of the space (homes, schools, offices, etc.), activity, and the socio-cultural dynamics. So, “how do we precisely achieve the awareness about the context, which by nature is constantly evolving and inherently dynamic?”. I use a combination of methods, including pervasive sensing, proxemics, etc., followed by data mining, analytics, and visualization to model and extract key behavioral and contextual indicators. This has further implications for the inter-compatibility of HCI and Interaction Design methods in architectural projects aiming to design the built-environments of the future.
Innovative advancements in fields outside of Architecture, such as Information and Communication Technology, Mobility, etc., are also changing the way we live, work, learn, and collaborate. Consequently, “how do we envision the transformation of architecture with the changes in la vie quotidienne, which can be attributed to the factors outside of architecture?”. This question is a pertinent one to ask especially as more people are choosing work-from-home, thus entailing the design of polymorphic spaces which afford for both living and working as well as seamless transitions between them. Furthermore, independent workers and start-ups have a preference for co-working spaces – affording for both creativity and opportunistic collaborations – over traditional offices. “How do we consolidate malleability in future architectural spaces and emerging collaborative aspects such as co-presence and tele-working?”.
Besides my research in Human-Building Interaction and Computer Supported Collaborative Work/Learning, I am also involved in projects at the intersection of urbanism and autonomous vehicles.