Human-IST Institute

Here is an updated set of published works relevent to the recent scholarly activities of Hamed.
For the complete resumé please follow the link above.
A 440/ 90 Pérolles
1700 Fribourg/ CH 


H. S. Alavi

Hamed 's research is focused on the future of human's interactive experiences with built environments. Particularly, he is interested in the engagement of computer science in the evolution of buildings and urban spaces as they increasingly incorporate artificial intelligence, context-aware automation, and interactivity.

What are the specific attributes of building that Human-AI Interaction researchers should take into account when shifting attention and scale from "artefact" to "architecture", from usability and engagement to occupant comfort across multiple dimensions (e.g., thermal, visual, acoustic, respiratory), and from (often) short lifespan or discretionary to durable and immersive experiences? These and other questions that embody the complexity of our interactive experiences with built environments define the scope of Hamed's research, which he has been developing with the notion of Human-Building Interaction.

Selected Publications ︎



Repeated exposure to poor air quality in indoor environments such as office, home, and classroom can have substantial adverse effects on our health and productivity. The problem is especially recognized in closed indoor spaces shared by several people.
On the other hand, sustainability concerns restrain the acceptable architectural methods for supplying fresh air in buildings.
We have studied the evolution of carbon dioxide level in office-meeting spaces, during 1007 meeting sessions. The collected data is employed to examine machine learning models aimed to indicate the CO2 evolution pattern and to forecast when fresh air should be supplied. In addition, to gain insight into the relations and interdependencies of social factors in meetings that may influence the users' perception of an interactive solution, we have conducted a series of online surveys. Building on the results of the two studies, a design solution is proposed that predicts the evolution of air quality in naturally-ventilated meeting rooms and engages the users in preventive actions when risk is forecast. 

The Complexity of Indoor Air Quality Forecasting and the Simplicity of Interacting with It – A Case Study of 1007 Office Meetings


The quality of air in office spaces can have far-reaching impacts on the well-being and productivity of office workers. We present a system, called Hilo, that capitalizes on machine learning methods to forecast the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in shared office spaces. Experimenting with Human-AI Interaction techniques, our main objective is to engage users in taking preventive actions when a harmful level of CO2 is predicted. We elicited three main elements of such prediction–Risk, Temporal Proximity, and Certainty–  and explored alternative ways of displaying indoor CO2 forecast through these elements. Three interfaces on Apple Watch were tested by 12 participants (within-subjects, a total of 36 sessions). We describe the results of this study and discuss implications for future work on how to create an engaging interaction with the users about the quality of air in offices and particularly its forecast. 

Hilo-Wear: A Preliminary Study to Explore the Air Quality Forecast Interfaces in Office Space


Since the introduction of the iconic Aware Home project in 1999, the notion of “living laboratory” has been taken up and developed in Human-Computer Interaction research. Many of the underpinning assumptions have evolved over the past two decades in various directions, while the same nomenclature is employed-- inevitably in ambiguous ways. This contribution seeks to elicit an organized understanding of what we talk about when we talk about living lab studies in HCI. This is accomplished through the methods of discourse analysis, a combination of coding, hypothesis generation, and inferential statistics on the coded data. Analysing the discursive context within which the term living laboratory (or lab) appears in 152 SIGCHI and TOCHI papers, we extracted five divergent strands with overlapping but distinct conceptual frameworks, labeled as “Visited Places”, “Instrumented Places”, “Instrumented People”, “Lived-in Places”, and “Innovation Spaces”.

The Five Strands of Living Lab: A Literature Study of the Evolution of Living Lab Concepts in HCI


Buildings and urban spaces increasingly incorporate Artificial Intelligence and new forms of interactivity, raising a wide span of research questions about the future of human experiences with, and within, built environments. We call this emerging area Human-Building Interaction (HBI) and introduce it as an interdisciplinary domain of research interfacing Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) with Architecture and Urban Design. HBI seeks to examine the involvement of HCI in studying and steering the evolution of built environments.
Therefore, we needs to ask foundational questions such as: what are the specific attributes of built environments that HCI researchers should take into account when shifting attention and scale from “artefacts” to “environments”?

Introduction to Human-Building Interaction (HBI): 
Interfacing HCI with Architecture and Urban Design