Cabot lunchtime lecture: Living labs – experiments, engagement and experiences of a New Zealand university

10 September 2015, 1.00 PM - 10 September 2015, 2.00 PM

Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol

Massey University’s Living Lab is an institutional commitment that aims to generate meaningful projects and relationships with a diverse set of partners. As an institutional project it emphasises the importance of engagement within and outside the academy, and situated knowledge production in order to address real-world challenges. To date Massey Living Lab projects have proved uneasy yet immensely rewarding. It has required giving-over ‘the project’ to others, letting research projects emerge from some familiar and unfamiliar actors and objects, and being open to different ‘outputs’. The approach unsettles the politics of project and of knowledge production. It seems to work with our Living Lab partners. Different people with different expertise are working collectively on shared challenges. Discrete projects have transformed into a set of on-going conversations committed to place, both recognising the complexity of issues and the necessity to keep working together.  Knowledge production is shared and engaged in place.
This seminar outlines the development of  Massey University’s Living Lab and introduces three current living labs: Palmerston North City, an urban laboratory; No 1. Dairy Farm, an agricultural laboratory; and, the Waiwhakaiho River, a river laboratory. Each project brings together a different set of actors and objectives. This seminar discusses the challenges and opportunities of collaboration and engagement in terms of generating a living lab space where different people, aspirations and knowledges interact meaningfully. 


Dr Allanah Ryan is Head of School of People, Environment and Planning. Prior to that she had been a long-standing member of the Sociology Programme with teaching and research interests around sustainability and the built environment. In addition to managing the School of People, Environment and Planning, she works in a number of different contexts where the social sciences work alongside the natural sciences, and design and planning professional in sustainability-related projects to engage key external stakeholders. Allanah is also keen to pursue new ways for university staff to connect across the Colleges and service units with the aim of creating cross-disciplinary teaching and research that addresses the ‘wicked problems’ facing the planet and its peoples. To this end Allanah is involved in a number of living lab projects.
This event is free to attend and open to all UoB staff and students. No booking required.

Contact information

Allanah Ryan

Allanah Ryan

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