Anyone At Home celebrates the lived experience of design.

We have lived a life before today – and hopefully a life after tomorrow. 

Anyone At Home is a design research site that explores how and where design is part of people’s lives – and home.

More than just a showpiece, our home is a place were we live day to day.

It is the centre of a life lived against a constantly shifting political, economical, sociological and technological backdrop.

Through different lifestages and changes in our personal circumstances our ‘home’ is the one place/space we ‘make’ our own. It means different things to different people. In context, it is the one space where we can express our creativity and choices.

No-one knows our home as we know it.

No-one sees our home as we see it.


Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a voice.

In the Interviews section people share their story of their home in their words.

What makes this space their home?

How did it evolve?

What influenced and shaped their ideas along the way?

Each of these accounts contributes to a wider range of personal stories of lived experience.

When viewed together it provides a unique insight into contemporary lifestyles and ways of living.

Through words and images it documents a private space/ place/world that few people will ever see, or know.

It examines the context in which those design decisions were made.

The Interviews section also features charities that work at grass roots level to offer people a home, a service or support. These are agencies that reach out and help people with the immediacy of needs.


The Insights section explores broad, far-flung ideas, thoughts and bigger questions.

This section discusses and develop different themes that emerge from the interviews.

Avenues for further research perhaps?

It highlights an opportunity for others (marketing, business, design or health) to develop and test lived experience in more detail in order to deliver targeted outcomes.

Design is about what we want, need and have. Here, is about how that all comes together in one space, the space we call home.

As much as we can – we make a home that works for us.

This site brings together visual and oral data to connect the physical environment to the richness of an individual’s life experience.

These are their words, this is their home.

This is how we see the world, and how the world is for us.

Who Is This For?

This website an open resource for anyone who is interested in experiential design.

It presents interior design research in a wider context: it is not about ‘style’ or DIY.

The research highlights issues and themes associated with ageing, health, lifestyle, geography and changes in personal circumstances.

It is a lens into a space and place at a moment in time.

My hope is that these stories will  inspire others, spark ideas, develop understanding, widen connections, dispel myths and fill existing gaps in our knowledge of home.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in this project. These individuals kindly let me into their lives and homes so I could share this with you.

     People   ×    Society  ×   Home   ×    Design


Design, Nuala Rooney,

Nuala Rooney, PhD, FHEA

Dr Nuala Rooney is an independent human-centred design research consultant based in Northern Ireland.

I have over 25 years experience leading design courses in higher education institutions in Hong Kong and UK. I am one of the first people in the UK to be awarded a  PhD in the discipline of Interior Design. My research actively positions and develops new ways of looking at, and thinking about, the context of design. It focuses on people and space in the real world.

My thesis was a break-through study of interior space as lived experience within the context of high density dwelling. It was published as At Home with Density,Hong Kong University Press (2003). I developed it further into an award-winning short documentary film, A Thousand Pieces of Gold.

I write widely on the subject of interior/spatial design in both academic and popular journals.

As a designer, my research combines academic rigour with creative thinking. My work explores human concerns within the social/spatial sphere.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Association (FHEA) and held appointments as External Examiner for academic institutions across the UK, New Zealand and Ireland. I have been a judge at many prestigious design competitions including the UA Design Awards and Asia-Pacific Interior Design Awards (APIDA)

Anyone At Home  is a radical approach to design and design research.

Life stories help us to see, listen, and think more about the questions, problems and solutions that affect  people everyday.

That is: anyone, anywhere. People just like us.

I believe a formal academic approach is not the best way to reach people or share ideas.

Real-world problems require actionable outcomes.

In a fast-changing world we need to know what people think. To do this we need to respond with flexible and alternative ways of looking, listening and understanding the world around us.

Not just as we see it – but as others see it.

Design, in its broadest sense, provides a way-in to capture data big and small. Broad brushstroke and detail.

I am very keen to work with business, industry and organisations that want to develop original, responsive and creative human centred design insights.

If you wish to use the images or text (for which I hold the copyright ©)  please contact me for permission.

Please contact me on: Email: