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Earlier research projects

Earlier research projects


Towards a Smart Society - the role of Digital Futures (2022-2023)

This project consists of three work packages that together will support a discussion of how Digital Futures should work with the area Smart Society, and support project proposals, and possibly other measures, to strategically develop Smart Society within Digital Futures. The project consists of three work packages, where the second and third also feed into the first. Altogether this supports Digital Futures vision –“to shape a sustainable society through digital transformation”.

WP1 Develop an Agenda for Smart Society for KTH
The starting points for the development of an Agenda for Smart Society are the ones stated already in Digital Futures strategic plan, the section on Smart Society. Important to note is that the intention with the Agenda is not to make a National or Global agenda for Smart Society, but rather to look at research needs and opportunities at KTH, and to some extent at RISE and SU, in relation to local, regional and global knowledge challenges. The work package will work iteratively with the two other work packages, with results from them feeding into the development of the agenda, but also the agenda feeding back critical topics to investigate in the other WPs.

WP2 Transparent urban energy modelling – who, when and how?
The second WP is directly related to work on urban energy modelling being done at the Department of Energy Technology, but here we add a constructive critical perspective related to the use and users of the information in and out of the energy models.

WP3 Climate in Smart Society project
The third WP is overlaps in terms of questions raised in WP2, but in WP3, we select between one and five of the projects currently funded by Digital Futures that are self-assigned as “Smart Society-projects”, and add an assessment of potential effects on emissions of Greenhouse gases related to the content of that project.

  • Funders: Digital Futures
  • Funding: SEK 500 000
  • Partners: KTH, SU, RiSE
  • Role: Researcher
  • Team at KTH: Mattias Höjer (Project Leader, lead WP1), Daniel Koch (co-PI, WP1), Nelson Sommerfeldt (co-PI, lead WP2), Francesco Fuso-Nerini (co-PI, lead WP3).
  • Directly linked publications
    • pending
  • See also

                                                                                                                                                                  Equal living environments: urban design for reduced segregation and increased accessibility

Accessibility does not exist in the built environment or in individuals but emerges in the relation between people and environment. Our starting point is variations in accessibility for different people. It is further that accessibility acts not only locally but also on a system level - in this case spatial systems. From such a perspective, what might seem like locally small differences can have significant impact on a system level and vice versa; a set of stairs has different impact depending on how far away an alternate route is. Degrees of accessibility may also be differently impactful depending on if it concerns specific amenities or if it concerns a kind of amenity that is appears distributed in the city. To us KTH, Uppsala Municipality, Funktionsrätt i Uppsala län and HSO Uppsala kommun these are central challenges for universal design and caring for persons with disabilities and reduced mobility.

Our solution intends to (1) further develop advanced methods of spatial analysis which are increasingly used in municipal planning today in order to include challenges concerning disability and accessibility and accessibility to societal resources and social systems services; (2) investigate how existing data structures and information can be used to perform such analyses; (3) clarify what kind of data and inventorying is needed and how it can be integrated in wider planning- and digitalization processes; (4) develop how knowledge and information of how built environment is different for different individuals with different capacities can be visualized and communicated, and (5) translate knowledge this this develops to methods, processes and visualizations which can be worked with in planning practice.


Duvedmodellen (2020-2022)

Widening gaps in life conditions between city and countryside is one of Sweden’s most central challenges. The differences have a direct effect on public and private service, cultural offerings, work, transports, housing, and the declining trust in the democratic social systems. Duved has, thanks to its small size of just 700 inhabitants - with the Duved village association as a driving force - the possibility to be a model creator and lead the way for future rural and urban development in Sweden. Rural investments through innovation is the future’s large and untapped possibility. The countryside will be the starting point of a new sustainable society that derives from the visions of local actors, experiences and ideas.  
The innovative core of the Duved model is the new type of collaboration plan - Governing through local collaboration - which the project aims to develop. The collaboration plan will actively engage the local community to participate in and influence the municipal urban development process. See further the project webpage.

  • Funders: Vinnova
  • Funding: SEK 10 000 000 from Vinnova, 10 000 000 co-funding.
  • Partners: KTH, Linköping University, National Board for Housing, Building and Planning, Region Jämtland Härjedalen, Åre Municipality, Tyréns, IBM, Jämtkraft, Setra Group, ICA, Årehus, ArvetTageHus, Attacus, HaWe Fastigheter, Eau & Gaz, Duved Byförening.
  • Role: Researcher area leader, Digitalization
  • Team at KTH: Björn Hellström (project leader), Ann Legeby (research area leader of "Living environment"), Daniel Koch, Christina Pech
  • Directly linked publications


Sensable Stockholm Lab: Urban Segregation (2020-2021)

Urban segregation and unequal living conditions are urgent contemporary challenges. The ongoing expansion of Stockholm is an opportunity to develop Stockholm into a more socially sustainable city characterized by less segregation and more equal living conditions. The city highlights the importance of a coherent urban structure, public spaces of high quality, climate sensitive. In this project, which constitutes one study within the project of urban segregation in the Sensable Stockholm Lab, the goal is to find out what are the urban characteristics (including configurative properties, physical features, and spatiotemporal variations in land use that make people to congregate in certain areas of the city. The aim is to use digital, geographical information, collected through sensors in public space and other means, as a proxy to people dynamics in selected areas in Stockholm. This will be compared to this data with information about urban form and configurative properties (e.g. spatial integration and betweenness, and visual characteristics based on online street views, analysed using convolutional neural networks), and with information on spatiotemporal variations use of urban areas (e.g. comparing official land use maps with data on points of interests, including opening hours, service typology, public rating).  The study will highlight differences across the city and analyses are designed in order to respond to how social processes and phenomena relate to architecture, urban design and planning. 

Senable Stockholm Lab is a long-term cooperation where KTH together with MIT, one of the world’s highest-ranking universities, are now entering into a research collaboration around urban planning and development where Stockholm city is the focus. The hub for the research will be KTH-MIT Senseable Stockholm Lab. The idea is that the cooperation as a whole should find new ways and methods for the smart city. This is with regard to, for example, transport, mobility, energy, water supply and behavior patterns that reflect what a city is through the use of large amounts of existing—and collection of—new data, as well as AI.


Stockholm City: Spatial analyses (2019-2021)

A cooperation between Stockholm City and KTH Architecture in the first of three agreed stages. The project develops application and use of spatial analyses within the city's planning office, and includes research aimed at competency development and a series of pilot studies to explore methods and approaches that suit the city's planning practice and concurrent challenges.

  • Funder: Stockholm City, KTH.
  • Partners: KTH, Stockholm City
  • Role: Researcher
  • Team at KTH: Ann Legeby (project leader), Daniel Koch, Pablo Miranda, Ehsan Abshirini, Eva Minoura
  • Funding: SEK 500 000
  • Directly linked publications:
    • pending


Structures and Systems in morphology and use: spectral analysis, hierarchical clustering, types and populations (2019-2020)

The project aims to integrate knowledge and ongoing research between architecture (specifically morphological research) and transport planning (spectral analysis of graphs). It aims to do so by developing ongoing research deeper in ways where challenges and opportunities intersect. On one hand, still unpublished research has proposed and tested computational classificatory alternatives of street structures that complement and challenge the typological classifications central to architecture. On the other hand, modeling based on user(s) behaviour is highly developed and examining the relationships between spatial structures and uses of such structures. 

The project will (a) theoretically and methodologically develop classification/typological process on street morphology, (b) in parallel, develop modeling of behaviors on a scale level comparable to the morphological analysis, (c) develop how spectral analysis can be used to analyse space- or data structures in the two, and (d) utilize these methods to develop deeper understanding of space-behavior relations.


Interactive Platform for Social Systems Services in Comprehensive Planning (2018-2019)

The project Interactive Platform aimed to develop a platform supporting comprehensive planning that includes 1) Process management through digital interaction supporting the municipal organization in developing a continuous Comprehensive Plan; and 2) Interaction through digital interaction, supporting and facilitating active participation among citizens/actors in the planning process. Focus was upon sustainability, emphasizing social and spatial segregation (related to inclusive design and Smart Cities). The project wants to increase accessibility to social resources; Social System Services, and to develop architectural spatial analysis to incorporate how accessibility varies between people, and therefore need to be analysed differently dependent on individual-environment relationships of both physical and socio-cultural kinds.


(Critical) Architectural Morphology (2018-2020) (at Chalmers)

The research into critical architectural morphology focuses on critically exploring and examining how morphology, seen as how material formulations of spatial organisation, performatively situates people and thus produces social situations and relations, as well as how our way of organising how we analyse, model, and engage with these phenomena affect how we understand and can work with them. This includes models of material space, but also conceptualisations of architecture, space, perception and behavior, and how to find ways to investigate the spatial aspects of the ever-elusive 'social'. The aim is developing methodologies to diagram, model, and analyse spatial configurations as defined by material boundaries of (built or unbuilt) space, understood as a powerful means through which society formulates, produces, and reproduces itself thereby becomes an important inquiry for understanding society-space relations.  Central questions include how these formations, in continuous interplay with other processes, develop into a range of both intended and unintended consequences through how they are appropriated and made use of by society at large.

The way society reproduces itself is here understood as in how architecture affects and is affected by social structures symbolically and performatively both directly and indirectly. On one hand, in how spatial and societal structures develop to support, challenge, and reproduce one another, and on the other, how individuals read, learn, and interpret society (or parts thereof) through built space. This includes how architecture offers, structures, limits and conditions ranges of actions and perceptions, as well as allows, describes and communicates structures of power, informing relations of self to self, self to other, and self to environment, affecting modalities of subjectivities and social relations.


Cities and Rail (2019)

Cities & Rail is funded by the Swedish Institute (seed-funding for Baltic cooperation), and aimed to strengthen networks and cooperation between Stockholm, Riga and Tallin via three technical universities. The work concerned the architectural and urban impacts, implications and conditions of rail developments with a particular focus on how rail development affects cities as built structures. The main target has been to build a solid understanding of challenges that require further research, identifying actors and networks of importance for such research, and potential funding sources for full research projects.

  • Funder: Svenska Institutet, with co-funding from Mistra Urban Futures and KTH
  • Partners: TalTech, Riga Technical University, Mistra Urban Futures, Göteborgsregionen, Jernhusen, Gävleborgsregionen, Gävle kommun, Västerås stad och Tillväxt- och regionplaneförvaltningen i Stockholm.
  • Role: Researcher
  • Team at KTH: Ann Legeby (project leader), Daniel Koch
  • Directly linked publications:
    • pending


Urban Form and the Practices of Daily Life (2018)

A project in the larger funding of Decode (in Swedish; English summary), studying a suburb in Uppsala, Sweden from the perspectives of (un)equal living conditions, societal presence of public services, and power structures in the built environment, 2018.

The project was in corproration with Ann Legeby (project leader) and Pablo Miranda at KTH, and studied segregation challenges, especially investigation concepts such as 'presence of society' (Legeby et al, 2015) and power in how they can be understood in relation to spatial configurations. My own work in the project focused mostly on the latter.


Reformulation of the Urban Design Research Area at KTH Architecture (2015-2017)

The project concerned developing the research area of Urban Design at KTH Architecture, including reformulating the area of research, formation of research profiles, integration with education (both the Architecture programme and the Master's Programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design), and identifying central challenges and potential research strategically for the future.


The Stockholm Commission for a Socially Sustainable Stockholm: Equal Living Conditions and Perspectives on Culture (2015-2016)

Research for the Commission for a socially sustainable Stockholm within the development area housing and the built environment includes two smaller projects: one concerning how to understand, analyse and work with unequal living conditions as related to public amenities, spatial configurations and accessibility, and one focusing on culture, and how culture can be conceptualized and analysed as it relates to the same. Ann Legeby (Project leader) and Daniel Koch worked  in both smaller projects, with Lars Marcus (Chalmers) participating in the first and Ehsan Abshirini (KTH) participated in the second. The work included presentations, workshops, seminars and lectures as well as utilizing these in a co-creation process to provide research support for the city's planning challenges, leading to two reports published by the city but written from the position as academic researchers, with two accompanying reports where the City describes their way of working with the same challenges and how it incorporates the research support. The commission ran for several years with a range of different areas; more information on the commission can be found at http://www.stockholm.se/OmStockholm/Ett-socialt-hallbart-Stockholm-2/


Architecture in the Making (2011-2017)

The architectural profession is facing new challenges: Sustainable development promotes advanced building technology; the re-use of the existing building stock will be an increasingly important task; urban development have to integrate different fields of knowledge; advanced ICT tools influence design practice and modes of production

Architecture in the Making was one of three national research environments funded by Formas over a five year period, where 'Making' was focused on theoretical development concerning architecture as a making discipline and knowledge pertaining to this, while the other environments (Effect and ResArc) focused on the social effects of architecture in a wide sense and on the education of doctoral students respectively. As vice director this included strategic discussions of how to develop 'Making', how to distribute funding, how to stage symposia, conferences and other integrative work, and promoting, supporting and coordinating researchers and projects as well as fostering and coordinating the common environment at KTH. The project included distributing and evaluating research projects, but in the role of vice director, there was also time for research work. See further at architectureinthemaking.se

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Configurations of Consumption: Architectural Morphology as a Discursive Field (in Architecture in the Making, 2011-2013)

Based on the research developed in several projects including the doctoral thesis Structuring Fashion: Department Stores as Situating Spatial Practice, the co-authored KI Arkitektur och Kunskapsmiljö concerning acedmic environments, the research on hospitals in To see and be seen in healthcare environments, and on libraries in the licentiate thesis Spatial Systems as Producers of Meaning: The idea of knowledge in three public libraries, this project aims to engage with widening the scope from specific types of buildings to a discursive field of architectural morphology by investigating combined and integrated learnings from these research projects and what this suggests for a more general theory of architectural morphology, as well as to translate particular learnings from spatial analysis into discursive architectural knowledge and, in this process, critically examine and develop knowledge on spatial modeling.

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Resilient Infrastructure and Building Security (RIBS) (2010-2013)

In a global context where national interests are increasingly interrelated, the most vulnerable infrastructures in Europe, and particularly the most critical ones, are primary targets for terrorists. Successful security innovations will be those capable of operating in a niche shaped by the legal, socio-cultural, ethical and commercial constraints of the end-users. However, no single organisation has the knowledge and expertise needed to understand this complex problem in its entirety. In order to better understand the needs that future protection measures should meet, Resilient Infrastructure and Building Security (RIBS) brings together the knowledge, skills, expertise and network of four communities of stakeholders (the public, commercial organisations, law enforcement & security units as well as science and technology innovators) to support the development of effective and affordable protection measures against terrorist attacks.

In the RIBS project, the infrastructure domain focused on how to analyse and understand infrastructures in the sense of buildings and spatial distributions, where especially the need to critically and empirically engage with a range of values not directly concerning threats or risks and incorporate such concerns into the framework (e.g. use values, daily practices, symbolic and democratic values), but also to elucidate how spatial analysis and modeling can be incorporated in understanding the effects (both positive and negative) of different security measures. The officcial description of the project can be found at the UCL webpage for RIBS.

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To see and be seen in healthcare: User-oriented design for visibility and cooperation in spatial systems for healthcare (2010-2012)

The research project aimed to investigate how visual communication and conditions of permeability and accessibility as structured by architecture can be conceptualized and analyzed. The study primarily concerns the conditions for communication and information exchange between personnel in hospital work, but has a broader, general aim as well. Concretely, the research project has consisted of empirical studies in the form of interviews and seminars, coupled with experimental work and analysis. Four care units at the Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge were studied: Transplantation surgery, Centre for Gastronomy, Stem Cell transplantation, and the Medical Emergency Care using primarily interviews, group interviews and spatial analysis. In addition, the Emergency Ward was studied mainly through observations.

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Walkability as an Urban Design Problem (2009-2012)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Walkability research that deals with the association between the built environment and individuals’ physical activity is at an early stage and much more needs to be done in this area considering the significance it has. Although this is an area that demands an extensive multidisciplinary research, input from the urban design field is rather insufficient, despite the necessity that has been demonstrated through existing studies. The aim of the proposed research project is to meet this demand of urban design knowledge on walkability research, by applying urban design theories and practices on the studies that deals with the characteristics of the built environment and their influence on individuals’ physical activity.

The project has since been extended to a doctoral project by scholarships awarded to Eunyoung Choi, supervised by Daniel Koch and Ann Legeby.

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In situ-ing: Rhythm, Ambience and Identity (2011)

This project focuses on the question of social sustainability, which is the neglected or rejected dimension in many of the new exemplary urban models, the so-called "eco-cities". In order to counterweigh this disequilibrium, we need to explore the different expressions of urban sociality as an integrated dimension of city construction.

This social dimension is primarily manifested in inhabitants' practices and uses, where the subject is not any more the individual but the plural, the group, the multitude. And the most immediate, intuitive expression of this plurality is the ensemble of rhythmical patterns and urban ambiences it "composes"; rhythms that are not a vacuous form but a translation of human-environment relationships.

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KI Architecture and knowledge environments (2010)

This research project was funded by Akademiska Hus as part of the celebration of the centenial birth-year of the Karolinska Institute. By studing architectural drawings, programs and institutional ideals as compared to campus layout and building morphology in three identified periods, focusing on a representative case for each period, the development of architecture and academic environments are analysed and discussed historically and as spatial configurations. To allow comparability, the three cases are all within a wider area of chemistry and thus including laboratories, offices, and in the early buildings also education. The spatial analysis engages with questions of identity and material practices of ordering, as well as how organisational ideals and power hierarchies relate to spatial structures and locations.

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Places in practice and social sustainability (2009)

The project focused on understanding social sustainability in relation to smaller centers (e.g. neighborhood centers), how centrality works, and how architectural and planning practice considers on the one hand the challenge with small centers, and what constitutes a 'centre' to begin with. It icnludes literature studies and interviews with practicioners, identifying a set of common strategies which are then further commented and discussed in relation to a socio-cultural understanding of 'center' and 'centrality'. As an empirical anchoring, the project engages with Hökarängen south of Stockholm.

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