Vision Techniques in Video-mediated Communication

Vision techniques and their application in video-mediated communication offer a number of interesting research opportunities. Issues around eye contact, field of view and line of sight all become even more pressing when designing for medium to long-term deployment. James Norris is doing a PhD with me and Qiu Guoping on this subject.

October 2009 - January 2013


Anywhere - Somewhere - Everywhere

Discover the Nottingham you didn't know on a guided tour where you are the guide. Unlock unknown spaces and overhear stories these spaces tell. Anywhere Somewhere Everywhere was an interactive conversation with new technology from fingerprint to footprint – between the visitor and the visited, past and present, private and public. It allowed participants to explore an urban area, tying together information not normally available, new points of views and interaction embedded into physical places. Guided by ‘unseen’, on-the-street performers in an ongoing conversation maintained over mobile phones, they gained access to locative media and staged performances.

Thrill Laboratory: Oblivion

In a follow-on project to Fairground Thrill Laboratory, Brendan Walker and the Mixed Reality Lab collaborated to bring Thrill Laboratory to Alton Tower's Oblivion, the world's first vertical drop roller coaster.

September 2007


Fairground: Thrill Laboratory

Equator and Healthsmart are supporting Brendan Walker, the curator of Fairground: Thrill Laboratory, at the Dana Centre of the Science Museum, London in his exploration of the nature of Thrill. Body mounted telemetry equipment is used to allow an audience to participate in the experiences of riders on a fairground ride.

October/Nobember 2006


Associated Publications:

Schnädelbach, H., Rennick-Egglestone, S., Reeves, S., Benford, S., Walker, B. and Wright, M.,  Performing Thrill: Designing Telemetry Systems and Spectator Interfaces for Amusement Rides, in proceedings of CHI 2008, Florence, Italy

Walker, B., Schnädelbach, H., Egglestone, S.R., Clark, A., Orbach, T., Wright, M., NG, K.H., Rodden, T., Benford, S., French, A., Augmenting Amusement Rides with Telemetry, in proceeding of ACE 2007, Salzburg, Vienna

Thrill at the Dana Centre, Science Museum, UK
Anywhere Flyer

Ceated in collaboration of Willi Dorner, The Mixed Reality Lab and the Architecture Department.

23-26 April 2008 at Broadway Cinema, Nottingham


Associated publication:

Bedwell, B., Schnädelbach, H., Benford, S., Rodden, T., Koleva, B., In Support of City Exploration, in proceedings of CHI 2009, Boston, USA

The Broadway Cinema

Future Garden PDA interface

Future Garden

A PDA based tour of Sneinton Market, Nottingham, UK, using a novel 'follow-the-video' navigation interface.

May 2006


Associcated Publications:

Schnädelbach, H., Hale, J., Dorner, W., Bedwell, B., Benford, S., Mardell, J., Future Garden, in proceedings of TIDSE 2006, Darmstadt, December 2006, pp. 346-351, Springer, short paper

Mixed Reality Architecture

Linking physical and virtual spaces in a dynamic hybrid spatial topology


Mixed Reality Architecture (MRA) dynamically links and overlays physical and virtual 3 dimensional spaces. This project at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the MRL in Nottingham investigates the topology of and the relationships between the components of MRA from an architectural perspective on Mixed Reality. As a phenomenon, MRA takes its place in a long history of technologies that have influenced conditions for social interaction as well as the environment we build around us. However, by providing a flexible spatial topology spanning physical and virtual environments it presents new opportunities for social interaction across electronic media. An experimental MRA allowed us to study some of the emerging issues in this field. It provided material for the development of a framework describing virtual and physical spaces, the links between those and the types of mixed reality structure that we can envisage it being possible to design using these elements.

Following this initial work, a re-developed MRA has been deployed in six different offices at three academic institutions in the UK and studied long-term. It has proven effective in providing its inhabitants with informal but also focussed opportunities for contact with remote colleagues. Through its virtual 3D nature and its embededness into physical buildings, contacts made are visible and accountable to others. It can be said to integrate well with exisiting building structures and work practices that are to be found there. MRA has now been used for more than two years with a changing population and across different physical offices.

Description: Intro to PhD thesis

Associated Publications:

Schnädelbach, H. Galani, A. and Flintham, M., Embedded Mixed Reality Environments, in Dubois, E., Gray, P. and Nigay L., The Engineering of Mixed Reality Systems, Springer, London, 2010, pp.57-78

Schnädelbach, H.,  Visibility in Architecture Extended through Audiovisual Communication Technologies, in proceedings of Space Syntax Symposium 2009, Stockholm, Sweden

Schnädelbach, H., Penn, A., and Steadman, P., Mixed Reality Architecture: A Dynamic Architectural Topology, proceedings of Space Syntax Symposium 2007, Istanbul, Turkey

Schnädelbach, H, Mixed Reality Architecture, PhD thesis, Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL, London, 2007

Schnädelbach, H, Penn, A., Benford, S., Steadman, P., Koleva, B., Moving Office: Inhabiting a Dynamic Building, CSCW 2006 conference, Banff, Canada, pp.313-322

Schnädelbach, H., Penn, A., Koleva, B., Stanton, D., Glover, T., Benford, S., Mixed Reality Architecture: initial experiences, Technical Report Equator-04-001, 2004 Equator

Schnädelbach, H, Penn, A., Benford, S Koleva, B, Mixed Reality Architecture: Concept, Construction, Use, Technical Report Equator-03-001, 2003 Equator

Boriana Koleva, Holger Schnädelbach, Steve Benford and Chris Greenhalgh, Experiencing a Presentation through a Mixed RealityBoundary , proceedings Group 2001 conference, Boulder, USA

Augurscope II

Redeveloped Mixed Reality Interface for Outdoors


Equator Project


Associated Publications:

Schnädelbach, H., Koleva, B.,  Benford, S., Paxton M., Twidale, M., Anastasi R., The Augurscope: Refining its Design, Presence special issue: Virtual Heritage, MIT Press, 2006

Benford, S., Schnädelbach, H., Koleva, B., Anastasi, R., Greenhalgh, C., Rodden, T., Green, J., Ghali, A., Pridmore, T., Gaver, B., Boucher, A., Walker, B., Pennington, S., Schmidt, A., Gellersen, H., Steed, A., Expected, sensed, and desired: A framework for designing sensing-based interaction, TOCHI, 12(1), ACM Press, 2005

Schnädelbach, H., Koleva, B., Twidale, M., Benford, S., The Iterative Design Process of a Location-aware Device for Group Use, UbiComp 2004, Springer, Nottingham, UK

Augurscope II

Moving City

Created in a collaboration between the Architecture School at Nottingham and the Mixed Reality Lab, this guided walk explores the projects of graduate Architecture students in the centre of Nottingham with the help of a Flash based PDA interface.


Part of Architecture week 2003.


Access to Flash presentation

Moving City PDA interface


An immersive projection interface for children


Shape Project

Associated Publications:

Jonathan Green, Holger Schnädelbach, Boriana Koleva, Steve Benford, Tony Pridmore, Karen Medina, Eric Harris, Hilary Smith, Camping in the digital wilderness: tents and flashlights as interfaces to virtual worlds , short talk CHI 2002, ACM Press, Minneapolis, USA


Augurscope I

A Mixed Reality Interface for Outdoors


Shape Project

Associated Publications:

Holger Schnädelbach, Boriana Koleva, Martin Flintham, Mike Fraser, Paul Chandler, Malcolm Foster, Steve Benford, Chris Greenhalgh, Shahram Izadi, Tom Rodden, The Augurscope: A Mixed Reality Interface for Outdoors , proceedings CHI 2002, ACM Press, Minneapolis , USA

Augurscope I


A rotating Mixed Realiyt Interface


Shape Project


Associated Publications:

Izadi, S., Fraser, M., Benford, S., Flintham, M., Greenhalgh, C., and Schnädelbach, H., Citywide: supporting interactive digital experiences across physical space , proceedings  Mobile HCI'01, Lille, France

Benford, S., Bowers, J., Chandler, P., Ciolfi, L., Flintham, M., Fraser, M., Greenhalgh, C. , Hall, T., Hellström, S. O., Izadi, S. ,Rodden, T., Schnädelbach, H.Taylor, I. , Unearthing Virtual History: Using Diverse Interfaces to Reveal Hidden Virtual Worlds , proceedings  UBICOMP'01, ACM Press

Hall, T., Ciolfi, L., Bannon, L., Fraser, M., Benford, S., Bowers, J., Greenhalgh, C., Hellström, S-O., Izadi, S. and Schnädelbach, H., The Visitor as Virtual Archaeologist: Using Mixed Reality Technology to Enhance Educational and Social Interaction in the Museum, in  proceedings VAST'01, Glyfada, Greece

Benford, S., Fraser, M., Koleva, B.,Schnädelbach,H., Flintham, M., Greenhalgh, C., Taylor, I., O'Malley, C., Fragmented Boundaries - Mixing realities by replaying virtual worlds in real spaces deliverable 4.1 for the Shape project

Presenting in Mixed Reality

Supporting local and remote presentations to local and remote audiences in Mixed Reality


Associated Publication:

Boriana Koleva, Holger Schnädelbach, Steve Benford and Chris Greenhalgh, Experiencing a Presentation through a Mixed RealityBoundary , proceedings Group 2001 conference, Boulder, USA

Mixed Reality presentation

Traversable Interfaces to Mixed Reality

Traversible projection interfaces that establish the illusion that people can cross between physical and virtual spaces



Traversing Mixed Reality Boundaries

Associated Publications:

Anthony Steed, Steve Benford, Nick Dalton, Chris Greenhalgh, Ian MacColl, Cliff Randell, Holger  Schnädelbach , Mixed-Reality Interfaces to Immersive Projection Systems , 7th annual Immersive Projection Technology Symposium, March 24-25, 2002, Orlando, USA

Boriana Koleva, Holger Schnädelbach, Steve Benford and Chris Greenhalgh, Traversable Interfaces Between Real and Virtual Worlds, published in proceedings of CHI 2000 conference, The Hague, Netherlands

Mixed Reality Link of the two Nottingham Campuses

Design propsoal for a Virtual Learning and Teaching Environment using the Mixed Reality boundary

April 1999


Linking two campuses

Interface to Cyberspace

A Dwelling Place for Teleworkers

July 1998

Project for the Diploma of Architecture at The University of Nottingham


Associated Document:

Schnädelbach, H., Architecture: on the Threshold between Space and Cyberspace , MArch thesis, Nottingham, 1999

A dwelling place for teleworkers

Nottingham Architecture Centre

A new Architecture Centre for Nottingham

July 1995

A new Architecture Centre for Nottingham combining physical administration and meeting facilities with a 3D virtual online exhibition space, accessible from dedicated interfaces onsite and online. The public space around the physical building transforms into a shareable interface to the online 3D space with images projected on the covering canopy. The 3D virtual space adapts to differen uses (design space, exhibition, lecture theatre) and to different users, by making different parts of the space available.

Project for the Bachelor of Architecture at The University of Nottingham

Nottingham Architecture Centre
Nottingham Architecture Centre


A novel type of Adaptive Architecture drawing on personal data directly derived from people’s physiology.

ExoBuilding explores the novel design space that emerges when an individual’s physiological data and the fabric of building architecture are linked.  In its current form ExoBuilding is a tent-like structure that externalises a person’s physiological data in an immersive and visceral way. This is achieved by mapping abdominal breathing to its shape and size, displaying heart beat through sound and light effects and mapping electro dermal activity to a projection on the tent fabric.


The Leverhulme Trust

Associated Publications:

Schnädelbach, H., Physiological Data in Adaptive Architecture, International Conference on Adaptive Architecture, London, UK, 2011

Schnädelbach, H., Glover, K., Irune, A., ExoBuilding - Breathing Life Into Architecture, in proceedings of NordiCHI 2010, Reykjavik, Iceland, ACM Press

ExoBuilding in use viewed from the entrance
Interior view of the ExoBuilding and inhabitant

Inhabiting Adaptive Architecture at the Building Centre London, 5th March 2011


Adaptive Architecture represents an expansive, multi-disciplinary and exciting research field, but despite delivering clear benefits and novel types of architecture, individual inhabitants often find adaptive buildings counter-intuitive, illegible and frustrating, an issue most clearly seen in the extensively researched smart homes sector. In addition, organisations (as inhabitants) often find Adaptive Architecture difficult to operate, to maintain and to keep relevant to their needs over the life-span of a building.

To discuss the challenges that are faced in this regard, this workshop will focus on inhabitants (individuals, groups & organisations) of Adaptive Architecture, as the key drivers of adaptations and as those who are directly affected by adaptations.

Please find full details here

Reactive Environments - Adaptive Architecture

Our environments are becoming infused with sensor and actuation technologies and are influenced by a variety of data streams as a result. The role that physiological data can play in this design space is subject of the PhD by Nils Jäger, supervised by myself, Jonathan Hale (Department of Architecture and the Built Environment) and Dave Kirk (Culture Lab, Newcastle)

March 2011 - February 2015

Creativity Greenhouse

The Creativity Greenhouse project funded by EPSRC investigated whether facilitated creativity activities (e.g. funding sandpits, bridging the gaps events, group brainstorms) can be conducted with participants remote to each other, supported by digital communication technologies. Use of such technologies could enable the capability to work without geographical and/or time constraints and could enhance the pool of people involved in contributing to meetings and generating ideas. Use of technology could also support more efficient and cost-effective ways of working, e.g. resulting in significant savings on meeting costs. Following a collaborative pilot of the Creativity Greenhouse approach, run by the Horizon Digital Economy Hub and EPSRC, the aim of this project is to develop the existing approach (consisting of event structure, technology set-up and evaluation method arrived at during the pilot project) to a stage where it can be used more widely across EPSRC and beyond.

June 2011 - October 2012

Press release about the project:

Please see:

The Creativity Greenhouse Bento Box

Associated Publications:

Schnädelbach, H., Sun, X., Norrise, J., Duxbury, P., Bailey, R., Lloyd, D., Creativity Greenhouse - Communciation Technologies in the Facilitation of Cross-Disciplinary Research Ideas, Digital Engagement 2011, Newcastle, UK

Exploring the potential of networked urban screens for communities and culture

This project brings together University College London, the University of Nottingham (Mixed Reality Lab, Computer Science), the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and Leytonstone Business Improvement District (e11bid) to investigate how the urban experience mediated through connected large screens can be designed to augment real world interactions, support communities, and promote and develop culture so as to maximise the quality of the public experience within the urban realm.Through an iterative prototyping methodology we will integrate the content development, placement, local interactivity and distributed connectivity of four re-locatable screen nodes connecting Nottingham with London. This set-up will allow us to explore remote connectivity by comparing two with three and four networked nodes, creating situations and experiences that differ in their urban settings and the types of populations they support through different seasons. We will develop the screen content (such as applications and experience) and evaluate mediated public interactions around these screens by engaging with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the local communities around all four nodes locations, and commissioned artists in definition of the research challenges as well as in the programme of research itself.

November 2011 - July 2013

Please see: and

January 2014 - February 2015

The University of Nottingham EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account and the Hermes fellowship programme is funding the network for this period to explore it’s use in academic outreach and to develop a business model around the technology.

The body, physiological data and Adaptive Architecture

Digital technology has taken hold in Architecture. As a result, buildings are becoming adaptive to data sources taken from the environment, from inhabitants and from objects present within buildings. The role of personal data in this context is particularly challenging. What might a building know about its inhabitants? What kind of information might be mutually useful to building performance and inhabitants? What kind of relationship might result from buildings having access to some of our most intimate data?

Physiological data is one particular stream of personal data. Physiological data here refers to data such as heart rate, respiration and brain activity that can be measured, manipulated and to some extent be interpreted to say something about the inhabitants' emotional and mental state. Linking physiological data to the building fabric opens up entirely new potentials in Adaptive Architecture. An initial exploration has been done in the ExoBuilding prototype. There are many more possibilities ... some of which are explored here.

Interaction and Architectural Space Workshop - (CHI2014)



A two-day workshop at CHI 2014, April 26th and 27th in Toronto, Canada


Performing Data - Enabling Creative Uses of Streamed Data

Ubiquitous digital technologies offer mechanisms through which we can attempt to learn a deeper sense of ourselves and our world. These can illuminate hidden patterns  of social and physical behaviours, and expose deviations between our assumptions about the world and real activity. A project funded by the Horizon Digital Economy Hub

January 2014 - March 2015

More information:


MOVE is an architectural prototype and research platform to explore the relationship of body movements and movements in adaptive architecture. Using a Kinect motion sensor, MOVE tracks the gross body movements of a person and allows the flexible mapping of those to the movement of building components. In this way, a person inside MOVE can immediately explore the creation of spatial configurations around them as they are created through the body.

This can be done live, by recording body movements and replaying them and through manual choreography of building elements. Trial feedback has shaped our four-stage iterative design and development process. The video shows Tetsudo performers Hamish Elliott and Natalie Heaton exploring interaction with MOVE.

MOVE was created at the Mixed Reality Lab, School of Computer Science, The University of Nottingham by Holger Schnädelbach and Hendro Arieyanto in 2014.

The Built Environment as the Interface to Personal Data

Nottingham Research Fellowship - 1 June 2015 - 31 May 2018

Developing the strategies, mechanisms and applications, which allow people to interact with personal data through the built environment.

This research project investigates that role of the built environment in our interaction with personal data. There is particular emphasis on the feedback loops that are created when architectural adaptation is linked to personal data and on the role of the built environment in the path of personal data becoming big data to be stored, mined and re-used. The project will be driven by prototyping framed by fieldwork and theoretical enquiry in collaboration with internal and external partners.

Adaptive Architecture Framework

Adaptive Architecture is concerned with buildings that are designed to adapt to their environment and to their inhabitants whether this is automatically or through human intervention. This is a multi-disciplinary research interest spanning Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Design, Psychology and the Social Sciences. The Adaptive Architecture framework captures the developing field and allows the crowd-sourcing of changes, adaptations and additions. It provides a categorised overview of adaptations and their causes, methods of adaptation and the effect of adaptations in Adaptive Architecture. It is useful for researchers and practitioners in this area.

Associated paper:

Schnädelbach, H., Adaptive Architecture - A Conceptual Framework, in (Eds.) Geelhaar, J., Eckardt, F., Rudolf, B.,  Zierold, S., Markert, M., proceedings of MediaCity: Interaction of Architecture, Media and Social Phenomena, Weimar, Germany, 2010, pp. 523-555

Press release:

Data Journeys Archway

The Data Journey Archway explores personal journeys, sensing in urban places, public engagement and personal data. It was exhibited first at Light Night 2016 at Nottingham, attracting hundreds of people to try it out. The archway reacted to people passing through, measured people’s height, clothing, company and attitude and projected this information into public space, alongside a personal question and answer.

The Data Journeys Archway is a collaboration between artist Andrew Wilson and the Mixed Reality Lab / Horizon and the first outcome of Andrew’s residency at the lab and with Sustrans.

Press Release:'s-light-night.aspx


In collaboration with Nottingham-based Tom Dale Dance Company, the Mixed Reality Lab / Horizon developed the Digitopia app. The Digitopia app connects the show on stage with the activities in the foyer before and after the show. It is aimed at an audience between 5 and 10 years old. By creating simple geometrical shapes on tablet screens, children construct a soundtrack, both inspired by geometry and sound present on stage. Digitopia and the Digitopia app premiered at Lake Side Arts centre on the 12 February 2016 and is touring the UK until April 2016.

Digitopia on the web:

Nick Dalton, Holger Schnädelbach, Mikael Wiberg and Tasos Varoudis (Eds.)

Architecture and Interaction

Human Computer Interaction in Space and Place


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-30028-3

Architecture and Interaction is aimed at researchers and practitioners in the field of computing who want to gain a greater insight into the challenges of creating technologies in the built environment and those from the architectural and urban design disciplines who wish to incorporate digital information technologies in future buildings.

Ubiquitous computing has a vision of information and interaction being embedded in the world around us; this forms the basis of this book. Built environments are subjects of design and architects have seen digital elements incorporated into the fabric of buildings as a way of creating environments that meet the dynamic challenges of future habitation.

Methods for prototyping interactive buildings are discussed and the theoretical overlaps between both domains are explored. Topics like the role of space and technology within the workplace as well as the role of embodiment in understanding how buildings and technology can influence action are discussed, as well as investigating the creation of place with new methodologies to investigate the occupation of buildings and how they can be used to understand spatial technologies.


People, Personal Data and the Built Environment | 2nd Nov 2016 | MRL, CS, UoN

--- Call for participation: As part of the Nottingham Research Fellowship ‘The Built Environment as Interface to Personal Data’, this workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss the relationship of People, Personal Data and the Built Environment.

--- Personal data, data that allows a person to be identified, is increasingly important in our lives. We voluntarily give it away to organisations for a perceived benefit, for example in our use of social media. We use personal data to quantify our behaviour, as in the many sports and health apps or for 'personal branding' through sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. We are also forced to pass with our personal data to access certain services, for example government services or transport networks.

The built environment plays a key role in this current, still developing use of personal data, even though this remains relatively hidden. 

Buildings are the locations for the technical infrastructure that captures personal data, such as oyster card gateways or wifi hotspots. Personal data is used to adapt buildings to people's behaviour, for example when a card reader opens a door or occupancy changes the light levels in a building. Organisations that manage buildings depend on records of personal data to understand how buildings are occupied and how communities develop. Personal data also plays a role during the design process, when architects record the requirements of their clients, and this might become encoded in Building Information Modelling.

This workshop brings together different stakeholders who work with people in the built environment in the broadest sense.

The aim is to discuss what role personal data plays in people's interaction with the built environment. 

This discussion might include the following (this list is not exhaustive and other related topics are welcome):

  1. Personal data about occupants and communities

  2. Personal data in use of the operation of buildings

  3. Personal data during the design process and BIM

  4. Personal data as form of memory and history

  5. Personal data as a resource for creativity and design

  6. Personal data as a technical resource and as part of Big Data

Location: Nottingham, Mixed Reality Lab

Format: Introduction, short presentations by participants about their involvement with personal data (~ 5 mins each + questions), group design activities, reflection and discussion

Date: 2nd Nov 2016

Time: half-day (10am-3pm), allowing travel to and from Nottingham, lunch provided

Expenses: UK Travel expenses can be covered. Attendance is free.

Please register your interest: briefly stating your current involvement with the topic and what you would like to take away from the workshop.

Data Journeys Archway

The Data Journeys Archway is returning to public space, this time to the foyer of the Exchange building on Jubilee Campus. Experience it there from 14th February until 17th February.

When you stand in front of the archway a question will be projected onto the ground. It will be a question for you to ask yourself. Step through the arch and it will learn something about you and give you a piece of wisdom in return.

Springer Series in Adaptive Environments

The Springer Series in Adaptive Environments presents cutting-edge research around spatial constructs and systems that are specifically designed to be adaptive to their surroundings and to their inhabitants. The creation and understanding of such adaptive Environments spans the expertise of multiple disciplines, from architecture to design, from materials to urban research, from wearable technologies to robotics, from data mining to machine learning and from sociology to psychology.

We welcome your proposal for monographs and edited volumes. Further details available on the series page.


Holger Schnädelbach, The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Henriette Bier, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands

Kristof Van Laerhoven, University of Siegen, Germany

People, Personal Data and the Built Environment

A #DIS2017 workshop

Edinburgh, Saturday 10th June 2017


A project in collaboration with Rachel Jacobs and Silvia Leal

Two mirrors, on either side of the Atlantic, are being designed to reflect the environment where they are located, with an invitation to play, perform and explore our sense of place and where we feel we are from.

The Institute of Digital Life and Ephemera

IDLE was created in 2016 to address the increasing ephemerality of digital culture. Digital technologies allow us to create and share content across the globe more easily than ever before, but that culture is at risk of being lost for future generations. Follow us in our important archiving work, looking to rebuild the global storytelling archive following the 2020 solar flare.

Work with Liz Evans and Hyosun Kwon, funded by the University of Nottingham.

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