Skip to main content

PhD Seminar: Irene Cieraad – “User-centered Research: An Anthropological Perspective”

The Architecture Departments of Lusófona University of Lisbon and Oporto are organizing a seminar – Architecture: Design and Research – for the current academic year.

This week

26 March 2021, 14:30 (GMT)
Irene Cieraad – User-centered Research: An Anthropological Perspective

Please, feel invited to participate:



My anthropological research is primarily focused on the usage of domestic spaces and therefore on the users of domestic architecture.  Still in their housing designs architects also express clear-cut ideas on the intended use of spaces, the so-called program. In the case of a private commission architects will discuss with the client his or her wish list and the result will be more or less the outcome of the consultation, but in all other cases designers will project their own ideas on the intended use in their housing plans.

The friction between the initial architectural program of planned use and the actual use of spaces by the inhabitants will only be a matter of time. To introduce you as architects to user-centered research I will present the method with which students of mine documented their parental homes on the actual use of the spaces.

Biographical Note

Irene Cieraad is a cultural anthropologist and affiliated senior researcher in the faculty of Architecture of Delft University of Technology. She is the editor of At Home: An Anthropology of Domestic Space (Syracuse University Press) and has published widely on the history of the Dutch domestic interior and a variety of other topics, like nostalgia and the Swiss chalet. Most of all she is intrigued by the interplay between architecture and culture.