This research area is led by Nathan Crilly
Alison McDougall-Weil is studying design intent and the subsequent user experience of architecture, specifically laboratories designed for experimental bioscience. The designs for such laboratories are frequently innovative, and often intended by the client and the architect to foster (or change) the culture of daily scientific practice. What the design intentions were, and how these buildings shape scientists' experiences and actions, is explored empirically through a multi-site ethnography of several US and UK bioscience research laboratories. The purpose of the study is to relate user experience to design expertise, offering insights to improve future designs.
Previous research in this area has explored the nature of design intent in industrial design and the relationship between those intentions and users' subsequent experiences. A new research project looks at this the other way around and examines how, whether and to what effect users attribute intentions to designers.