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Adaptive Architecture and Personal Data

Schnädelbach, Holger; Jäger, Nils; Urquhart, Lachlan


Holger Schnädelbach

Lachlan Urquhart


Via sensors carried by people and sensors embedded in the environment, personal data is being processed to try to understand activity patterns and people{\textquoteright}s internal states in the context of human-building interaction. This data is used to actuate adaptive buildings to make them more comfortable, convenient, accessible or information rich. In a series of envisioning workshops, we queried the future relationships between people, personal data and the built environment, when there are no technical limits to the availability of personal data to buildings. Our analysis of created designs and user experience fictions allows us to describe the important design space for adaptive architecture that draws on personal data, and we put this into context with the European privacy legislation of the GDPR. We illustrate the emerging tensions in the temporal, spatial and inhabitation-related relationships of personal data and adaptive buildings to underpin the design of future adaptive architecture.


Schn├Ądelbach, H., J├Ąger, N., & Urquhart, L. (2019). Adaptive Architecture and Personal Data. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 26(2), 1-31.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 10, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 13, 2019
Publication Date 2019-04
Deposit Date May 4, 2020
Journal ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Print ISSN 1073-0516
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 2
Article Number 12
Pages 1-31
Public URL
Publisher URL