by NJ

iwcThis article has now made it into the journal “Interacting with Computers” The submission and revision process was long but the result is worth it.

We present results of an experimental study showing that embodied control can work reciprocally between adaptive architecture ant its inhabitants.

Reciprocal Control in Adaptive Architecture

Nils Jäger, Holger Schädelbach, Jonathan Hale, David Kirk, Kevin Glover
Interacting with Computers, 2017, First published online: January 13, 2017
doi: 10.1093/iwc/iww037

link: Full Text PDF

“Computing has become an established part of the built environment augmenting it to become adaptive. We generally assume that we control the adaptive environments we inhabit. Using an existing adaptive environment prototype, we conducted a controlled study testing how the reversal of control (where the environment attempts to influence the behaviour of the inhabitant) would affect participants. Most participants changed their respiratory behaviour in accordance with this environmental manipulation. Behavioural change occurred either consciously or unconsciously. We explain the two different paths leading participants to behavioural change: (i) we adapt the model of interbodily resonance, a process of bodily interaction observable between, for example, partners engaged in verbal dialogue, to describe the unconscious bodily response to subtle changes in the environment and (ii) we apply the model of secondary control, an adjustment of one’s own expectations to maintain the pretence of control, to describe conscious cognitive adaptation to the changing environment. We also discuss potential applications of our findings in therapeutic and other settings.”


Nils Jäger, Holger Schnadelbach, Jonathan Hale, David Kirk, Kevin Glover. 2016. Reciprocal Control in Adaptive Environments. Interacting with Computers, First published online: January 13, 2017

by NJ

article “Enaction in Adaptive Architecture”

I am delighted to announce that my article “Enaction in Adaptive Architecture” is now published in archiDOCT, an e-journal for the dissemination of doctoral research in architecture. The current issue (7) is titled Transformable Architecture.

archidoctEnaction in Adaptive Architecture

Nils Jäger
archiDoct, issue 7, July 2016, “Transformable Architecture”

The full text is available here.

“Our life is becoming increasingly computerised at nearly all scales, a trend evident in terms such as the Smart City, the Smart Home, or the Internet of Things. The introduction of digital technology enables environments to respond to data gathered from many of our behaviours. A growing field of architectural design and research focuses on kinetic responses to inhabitant behaviour. However, the specific modes of interaction as well as the effects of such environmental responses on their inhabitants are currently underexplored. Using a literature-based approach, we argue that because such digitally augmented environments respond to bodily behaviours of their inhabitants, one important dimension of investigation is the embodied relationship between the architectural space and its occupant. One perspective that offers insight into this relationship is the so-called enactive approach to cognition, describing mutual influences between inhabitant and environment, which can create autonomous behaviour dynamics. Understanding the enacted relationship between inhabitants and environment will help architects create kinetically responsive environments that benefit their inhabitants physiologically and psychologically. The paper concludes with an overview of our lab-based research already conducted and current investigations.”


Nils Jäger. 2016. Enaction in adaptive architecture. archiDOCT 4, 1: 69–85.

by NJ

Book chapter “Embodied Interactions with Adaptive Architecture”

arch-intThe book “Architecture and Interaction” has finally been published. It is the first book to specifically focus on the interactive elements in and around architecture, which, for example, Weiser’s vision of ubiquitous (and calm) computing so vividly describes. The editors describe the scope of the book:

“Ubiquitous computing has a vision of information and interaction being embedded in the world around us; this forms the basis of this book. Built environments are subjects of design and architects have seen digital elements incorporated into the fabric of buildings as a way of creating environments that meet the dynamic challenges of future habitation. Methods for prototyping interactive buildings are discussed and the theoretical overlaps between both domains are explored. Topics like the role of space and technology within the workplace as well as the role of embodiment in understanding how buildings and technology can influence action are discussed, as well as investigating the creation of place with new methodologies to investigate the occupation of buildings and how they can be used to understand spatial technologies. Architecture and Interaction is aimed at researchers and practitioners in the field of computing who want to gain a greater insight into the challenges of creating technologies in the built environment and those from the architectural and urban design disciplines who wish to incorporate digital information technologies in future buildings.”

Our chapter “Embodied Interactions with Adaptive Architecture” (Jäger, Schnädelbach, and Hale) discusses “increasingly behaviour-responsive adaptive architecture from an embodied point of view. Especially useful in this context is an understanding of embodied cognition called ‘the 4E approach,’ which includes embodied, extended, embedded, and enacted perspectives on embodiment. We argue that these four characteristics of cognition both apply to and explain the bodily interactions between inhabitants and their adaptive environments. However, a new class of adaptive environments now expands this notion of embodied interactions by introducing environment-initiated behaviours, in addition to purely responsive behaviours. Thus, we consider how these new environments add the dimension of bodily reciprocity to Adaptive Architecture.”

Architecture and Interaction

Dalton, Schnädelbach, Wiberg, and Varouudis. Architecture and Interaction. 2016. Springer International Publishing, Cham. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-30028-3

Nils Jäger, Holger Schnädelbach, and Jonathan Hale. 2016. Embodied Interactions with Adaptive Architecture. In Architecture and Interaction. Springer International Publishing, Cham, 183–202. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-30028-3_9