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 HCI and Ubicomp 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 ︎



Since the introduction of the iconic Aware Home project in 1999, the notion of “living laboratory” has been taken up and developed in HCI 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

ACM Interactions.19

Walking is the collaboration and confluence of body, mind, and place. It has been repeatedly acknowledged as the “composing instrument” of the city generating social and urban life, as the most democratic and accessible physical activity, a cultural and aesthetic practice, a vital antidepressant, heart-saver, non-dieting diet, and an antidote to cope with the syndrome of chairs and wheels. Such that the re-discovery of walk may compete with the invention of wheel. With the standpoint that regards it as essentially being a situated human experience, our aim is to develop a discussion of walking within the context of so called Smart Cities, hoping that this will initiate a broader multidisciplinary discourse on how to retain and improve the “urban walk”.

Walking in Smart Cities


This contribution exemplifies how the study of space perception and its impact on space-use behavior can inform sustainable architecture. We describe our attempt to integrate the methods of user research in an architectural project that was focused on optimization of space usage.

In an office building, two large office rooms were refurbished to provide desk-sharing opportunities through hot-desking. We studied the space-use behavior of 33 office workers over eight weeks in those two rooms as well as their occasional presence in ten other areas (cafeteria, atrium, meeting rooms, etc.).
Certain visual attributes of a workspace,
namely “Visual Exposure” and “Visual Openness”, could determine whether or not it was regularly used.

The Hide and Seek of Workspace:
Towards Human-Centric Sustainable Architecture