The Use Of Shared Task Activities In Architectural Cross-Disciplinary Research: Working Methods Evolved Over Three Research Projects With Old People And Young Children

Judith M. Torrington
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Users of buildings are rarely involved in the architectural briefing and design process, particularly when they belong to disadvantaged groups. Three recent research projects, two involving older people with dementia and one involving young children have explored the design of buildings from the user’s perspective with cross-disciplinary research teams from architecture, psychology, engineering, social science and education, working with practitioners, service providers and industrial partners and a direct engagement with consumers of design. The projects have given an active rather than passive role to the end users, who were viewed as co-researchers rather than researchees setting research agendas and priorities. Each project had an aim to foster synthesis between the disciplines as opposed to parallel working. This paper describes a task based working methodology that evolved over the three projects that allows interactions to take place and substantially influence outputs.

Keywords: Architecture, Cross-disciplinary work, Methodology, Older people, Children
Stream: Technology and Applied Sciences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Use of Shared Task Activities in Architectural Cross-Disciplinary Research, The

Judith M. Torrington

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield
Sheffield, UK

Judith Torrington specialises in design for older people. Her research focus is on understanding the impact architecture can make on well-being both positively and negatively. This research area tends to be cross disciplinary; currently Judith is a co-investigator in INDEPENDENT, a consortium project funded in the EPSRC EQUAL 4 programme, in partnership with the Universities of Liverpool and Bath, Dementia Voice, Northamptonshire County Council, and Huntley Healthcare researching into the use of assistive technologies to enhance the quality of life of people with dementia. She was Principal Investigator for The View of the Child, a Designing for the 21st Century research cluster funded by EPSRC/AHRB. The View of the Child was funded for a year to develop a 21st century research agenda around children and the designed visual environment. It hosted a multi-disciplinary international research cluster of experts in the fields of architecture, education, psychology, child development, IT and construction. Previous research included the EPSRC EQUAL funded project Design in Caring Environments a multi-disciplinary team from Sheffield School of Architecture, Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing and The Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University investigating the relationship between building design and the quality of life of people with dementia.

Ref: I06P0383