Filosofistudenter från Twente University diskuterar KTH Live-In lab

Publicerad 2017-03-17

W.T.S. Ideefiks är en grupp filosofistudenter från Twente som besökte KTH flera gånger under deras besök till Stockholm. Varje besök hade ett särskilt tema och besöket till KTH Live-In Lab hade temat "Arkitektur". Nedan kan du höra gruppens tankar och upplevelser från besöket.

At the start of the session, we were warmly received by Babbi Fröding and Jonas Anund Vogel. The latter is one of the developers of the KTH Live-in Lab, which aims to facilitate the advent of sustainable and resource-effective buildings of the future. The lab’s goal is to help accelerate the introduction rate of new competitive solutions for the construction and real-estate sectors. Jonas showed us by means of a presentation the Test-apartments they are developing for students on the KTH campus.

These residential facilities are part of an experiment concerning the habits in and around the lives of the student who live there, with respect to, for instance, their use of energy and water as well as their behavior concerning waste and sustainability. The researchers involved with these experiments want to uncover people’s tendencies and customs as well as try to influence them to attain a more sustainable way of living. This talk obviously instigated a lively discussion concerning privacy and surveillance, as well as practical questions about the development and construction of these live-in labs.

In general, the students agreed that the experiment could be of great benefit to increasing sustainability in student lives. By finding out the tendencies of students regarding, for example, water use, the researchers can find out ways to try and help students live in a more sustainable way. Because students are generally not unwilling to live more sustainably, but rather too preoccupied with other aspects of their lives to do so, finding out ways to help students live more sustainably without asking them to spend a lot of time on actively changing their way of life could be of great help in improving sustainability, which is something the students could definitely get behind.

One topic that did raise some eyebrows and had a quite lively discussion attached to it, though, was that of the aforementioned privacy. Students wondered how these accommodations would affect the participants’ privacy, as it seemed their lives would be monitored quite thoroughly, which could potentially be quite problematic from a moral standpoint. It was explained, however, that participants would be told they would be monitored beforehand and that they would have to, knowing this, enter into the test-apartments willingly. They would not move into the test-apartments without knowing they would be monitored, which would of course indeed raise a big ethical red flag. The students agreed this transparency from the researchers’ side was a good and necessary part of the solution to the potential problem regarding privacy.

In short, students were excited about the project and what could be achieved by it for increased sustainability, but did warn the researchers that they should be transparent and clear about what exactly the participants would be entering into and any changes to the ways of monitoring as to avoid any invasion of privacy. Whilst the ends of the project are valuable and good indeed, care should be placed in making sure the means to achieve these ends are not themselves unjustifiable. From what was gathered during the meeting, it seemed to the students that the researchers were indeed on the right track in this, leaving the students with the feeling that a great and interesting project could soon take place on the KTH campus.

-Written by Harm Bult, Michel Cents, Martijn Hendrikx and Iki van de Pol

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