A Studio Experience of Integrating Adaptive Systems and Data in Interactive Interior Design

Presented by: Dr. Saleh Kalantari, Mona Ghandi

Background and Research Goals Advancements in information technology and mechanical components offer incredible new possibilities for innovation in architecture. Many aspects of our physical environment are now being fitted with active sensors and merged with information systems, a phenomenon that has been referred to as the “Internet of Things” (Gubbi et al., 2013; Vermesan & Friess, 2014). The emerging IoT can be seen in many places, including homes, industrial workplaces, hospitals, energy grids, and traffic management systems (Bellavista et al., 2013). These “smart environments,” when appropriately implemented, can make our lives more convenient. They also have the potential to be more flexible and responsive than traditional design, thereby expanding the range of our freedom and creativity (Batty et al., 2012). This project used a studio experience to investigate the role of the interior designer in this new data-rich technological context. The implications and applications of the IoT are far-reaching, and students who are learning about design in today’s environment have a bewildering array of new tools available for their exploration. This paper presents an overview of several areas in which interior design is being influenced by contemporary data systems, and demonstrates the way in which such approaches to design can be integrated into pedagogical frameworks to help students explore their creative capacities. Method In a studio class that the authors have developed based around the use of adaptive systems, students explore methods of designing amid responsive environments in the era of informational–physical interconnectivity. In the first phase of the studio students learn about various aspects of the IoT and its design implications, primarily through conducting literature reviews and summarizing their findings in the form of info-graphics. They also investigate how naturally occurring adaptive systems can serve as the inspiration for programmable built environments. In the second phase of the studio the students begin to experiment with physical spaces, observing how built environments can be designed to gradually change based on various environmental and user inputs. They design and fabricate a kinetic mechanism to explore the implementation of the data-oriented adaptive systems that they have learned about. In the final phase, using the knowledge gained through their previous explorations, students produce innovative designs for a new building on their campus. Outcome The field of interior design has much to gain by drawing from developments in computer science and other related fields. Examining the research process that these students undertook demonstrates the exciting possibilities that emerge when designing amid the IoT. By showcasing the application of data-driven design strategies within a pedagogical context, this paper indicates some of the exciting innovations in interior design that have been made possible by our current technological environment.


  • Bellavista, P., Cardone, G., Corradi, A., & Foschini, L. (2013). Convergence of MANET and WSN in IoT urban scenarios. Sensors Journal, IEEE, 13(10), 3558–3567.
  • Batty, M., Axhausen, K. W., Giannotti, F., Pozdnoukhov, A., Bazzani, A., Wachowicz, M., Ouzounis, G., & Portugali, Y. (2012). Smart cities of the future. European Physical Journal Special Topics, 214(1), 481–518.
  • Gubbi, J., Buyya, R., Marusic, S., & Palaniswami, M. (2013). Internet of Things (IoT): A vision, architectural elements, and future directions. Future Generation Computer Systems, 29(7), 1645–1660.
  • Vermesan, O., & Friess, P. (Eds.). (2014). Internet of Things: From research and innovation to market deployment. Aalborg: River Publishers.
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