Anyone At Home explores the lived experience of design.

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

Everything that has happened to us informs our choices, expectations and outlook: where we lived, how we lived, and who we lived with. 

At different lifestages we can reflect on changes to our health, relationships and financial situation.  We can see how our job, education, travel, culture and faith affected and influenced who we are – and what we value most.

Our life is a continuum of change: some events we can control, some we cannot. 

Everyone has a story to tell.

The stories represented in Anyone At Home expose the very close spatial relationship we have with our home. It explores how that experience changes through different lifestages and circumstances.

Each of these accounts contributes to a wider range of personal stories. When viewed together they provide a unique account of home as a lived experience of design.

This site brings together visual and oral data from the physical environment and the richness of experience. Capturing a moment in time, it is a reflection of how we see the world – and how the world is for us.

This website an open resource for anyone who has an interest in ethnographic design research and experiential design.

It highlights issues associated with ageing, health, lifestyle, location and changes in personal circumstances. It aims to show the wider context of design: where and why it is important  – or not.

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

I hope these stories will be used to  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 for  letting me into their lives and homes, so I could share this with you.

     People   ×     Society  ×     Ideas   ×    Design


Design, Nuala Rooney,

Nuala Rooney, PhD, FRSA, FHEA

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

As one of the very first people in the UK to be awarded a  PhD in Interior Design  my work explores the context of design and space in the real world.

My thesis  “At Home With Density: Spatial Representation in Hong Kong Public Housing” (Napier University, 1998)  positioned interiors research within the context of high density dwelling. As visual research this study was further developed into an award winning short documentary: A Thousand Pieces of Gold.

I write widely on the subject of interior/spatial design in both academic and popular journals. I am the author of  At Home with Density,  published by Hong Kong University Press (2003).

My research focus is wholly concerned with design as lived experience. It combines academic rigour and creative thinking to present a qualitative view of more subtle, human concerns within the social/spatial sphere.

As a Fellow of the Higher Education Association (FHEA) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) I have held appointments as External Examiner for academic institutions in the UK, New Zealand and Ireland. I have also judged prestigious design competitions including UA Design Awards and Asia-Pacific Interior Design Awards (APIDA)

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

It  helps  people to see, listen, and think more holistically about the questions, problems and solutions that affect  people in everyday life.  

This project enables new insights to emerge from the rich data of lived experience.

I am  keen to work closely with business/industry to help introduce a more creative and human centred design approach across a wide range of real -world problems and scenarios.

Please contact me on: Email: