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 for people and about people.

We need to know who we are designing for.

How do they think? What do they value? How can we make their lives better?

Design research creates new ideas, understanding and insights.

Human-centred research is about understanding the individual’s experience: how they see, how they interact and how engage with the world. It has to be rigorous and specific, but also captured in such a way that it allows for ‘the unknown.’ 

Human beings are complex and deep. We must learn to listen to what they say – and don’t say – without judgement, or bias.

A human centred design approach helps to identify and solve problems – in the real world. It helps business to anticipate shifts and gaps in the market, to be more prepared, agile and responsive so that it can respond quickly, and sensitively, to consumers’ needs.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Søren Kierkegaard

Anyone At Home features stories of everyday lives, in everyday spaces. They are about who we are and how we live  today.

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

Each story reminds us that as our own story enfolds our lives are constantly changing. And so, what people say today, may not be what they say tomorrow.

Milestones, 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 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.