Energy & Digital Living presents ethnographic research around energy, digital media and everyday life in UK homes.

Between 2010 – 2014, a team of anthropologists, engineers and designers worked towards a deeper understanding of how energy and media consumption fit in to everyday practices and habits in home life. This site presents some of the key outcomes of the ethnographic and design strands of that research

Sensory Ethnography

To learn about energy and media use in everyday life, we used a set of research methods – primarily video – we call sensory ethnography. These include home tours, video re-enactments, and the recording of everyday activity. These methods were designed specifically for the project, and in this section we present some reflections on how they were used, and what they allowed us to uncover.

Stories from the Home

From our sensory ethnography, we were able to create a number of stories through video and text. Rather than reporting our research through fixed “findings”, we prefer to tell stories that highlight significant practices around energy and media consumption in the home. The stories presented here illustrate the complex ways energy and media are used and adopted by people.

Design Inspirations

We have identified three main areas of home life that engineers and designers can find inspiration within: the everyday improvisations performed by people, the activity of making the home ‘feel right’, and movements through the home.

Design in Practice

Here we illustrate how ethnographic insights and narratives became part of LEEDR’s user centred design process, and show concepts that directly emerged from interdisciplinary collaboration.

The Video Archive

Our video archive contains some of the recordings we made with participants. We have put them online so that you can see, interpret and learn about the research methods and project themes in your own way.