How do we best understand the role of various outdoor environments in everyday life? Humans interact with urban and natural environments in ways that are dynamic, complex and multisensory. New portable technology makes it possible to study these experiences in real life settings.
Evaluating environments in situ has the potential of increasing the ecological validity, but also poses new challenges. The mission of the SLU Multisensory outdoor laboratory is to expand both our empirical and methodological knowledge of human-environment interaction.
The laboratory aims to adopt approaches that synchronize physical environment data with human response data. Information about the physical environment can be recorded by equipment such as GPS, video cameras, temperature sensors, sound level meters and field recorders. Human responses can be collected through questionnaires and/or through physiological measurements, including heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance and respiration.
Smart technology allows data collection over longer periods of time and with greater validity. The new infrastructure also facilitates comparisons between in-situ and controlled settings.