In a world where our lives are constantly measured in  metrics, analytics, data, types, and customer journeys we need to design for people – not users.

Design is concerned with the deeper, meaningful relationships we create within our lived experience.

For design to be relevant it must be about people.

We need to know exactly who we are designing for. How do people think? What do they value? What will make their lives better?

There is no ’magic’ or ‘mystery’ in design but research shows that whenever it is applied throughout the whole research process it enables stronger ideas, understanding and insights to emerge.

Design is about knowing what people want and need – even if they don’t quite know it themselves. When design is applied with expertise, creativity and insight it adds value to our lives.

Given that all data can be skewed, biased and potentially flawed, human data has to be rigorous and specific, but also captured in such a way that it allows for ‘the unknown.’ 

Human-centred design gets close to the individual because it is about understanding ‘their’ experience: how they see, how they interact and engage with the world.

With the right human centred knowledge business can anticipate shifts and gaps in the market so that it is more prepared, agile and responsive.

Human-centred design feels the pulse. It alerts us to what needs to be done – and guides us to how we might respond. Ultimately, it is about identifying, and helping to solve problems in the real world.

Design  research is about actively listening to what people say without judgement, or bias. It acknowledges that people are individuals and that human beings are complex and deep. The ‘Facts’ do not always speak for themselves. 

Anyone At Home presents stories of everyday lives, in everyday spaces. They are a reflection of who we are and how we live  today.

These  are personal stories that relate to a specific time, space and place. They are lives lived in homes shaped by shifts in the social, cultural, political, economic and spatial sphere.

Each story reminds us that as our own story enfolds life is constantly changing. What people say today, may not be what they say tomorrow.

Key life stages such as  the arrival of a new baby, poor health, disability, empty-nest syndrome and bereavement all have a massive  impact on how we live.

Life doesn’t get in the way – It is our lived experience.

This project highlights  personal histories of occupancy. It produces  evidence, insights and knowledge that cannot be found elsewhere.

This  is a self-funded project developed from my own sense of curiosity and interest. Quite simply: it is based on a desire to  know more about  the changes and relationship we have with our homes.

As qualitative research it explores  common areas where design and  social sciences meet, overlap and blur.

It acknowledges that across different disciplines, people are at the heart of what inspires us. Research is simply about taking the time to look and think – so we can know more.

But more than that….

At some point one of these stories could become our story.

As we get older we will shift into a new lifestage. We cannot know exactly what to expect but it is reassuring to know how it is for other people, so we can learn from their experience.

These are stories and voices of people who may be outside of our own circle, demographic and culture, living in circumstances and situations that we may yet to encounter – or where we have been before.

So, whether you are an anthropologist, a  designer, sociologist or psychologist – or just interested in people – there is  a story here that may resonate with you:  in your past,  your present, or future.