Bridging the gap between buildings, energy and people
Most methods of digitised energy management cannot respond to the unpredictable way in which people use buildings. The Learning Energy Systems project uses interaction design and machine learning to bridge the gap between buildings, energy and people and better understand patterns of demand and use.
Central to the project is the development of a digital system for aligning human needs and comfort with building energy systems. Unlike most energy reduction projects, the work aims to address the issue from an intuitive and responsive perspective rather than the dominant, penalty-based approach.
Children and teachers at the heart of research
The project has developed ‘living labs’ in schools across Scotland. School children and teachers have been at the heart of the research: as sensors of conditions; as drivers of energy demand; as individuals; and as a collective.
By giving children, in particular, a ‘voice’ in how limited resources are used, it is envisaged that attitudes and behaviour towards energy will be changed in the age group with the biggest potential for impact across society into the future. The project links closely to Maths and Science Curriculum for Excellence areas and connects to responsible citizenship, sustainability and social studies.
Digital devices designed to help children understand and manage energy use were premiered at an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April 2015. Our mobile application launched at the Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow on 24th September 2015.
Would you like to get involved in research at ECA?
We are always looking for research partners and participants. If you are interested in getting involved in research at Edinburgh College of Art, please contact our Research, Knowledge Exchange and Outreach (RKEO) Office by emailing ECA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also offer a range of research-led postgraduate programmes. Find out more.