Living Design: The Siyakhula Living Lab Theory

Topics: Innovation Pages: 5 (1040 words) Published: November 12, 2015


1) Definition of the approach and insight into its history (where available);
Prof. William Mitchell (from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston) is generally believed to the founder of the living labs theory in the 20th century. He suggested that a living lab “represents a user-centric research methodology for sensing, prototyping, validating and refining complex solutions in multiple and evolving real life contexts” (Bergvall-Kareborn, et al. 2009). The living lab approach later on spread from the USA to other parts of Europe, and also to developing countries like South Korea and Taiwan. Presently, there are numerous descriptions and definitions of living labs from various sources (Cunningham et al. 2012). Cunningham et al. (2012)...

3) How they go about using these approaches to research (methodology);
The living labs process normally involves the following activities (Pralahad and Rawaswamy, 2004; van Geenhuizen, 2014):
• Creation of value through collaborations by users and producers and/or researchers,
• Different stakeholders coming together to define problems and solve problems, using experimentation as implementing solutions and testing them in real-life settings,
• Creation of an experience environment in which user communities have an exchange of ideas and co-construct personalized experience
• Assessment of new ideas, experiences, new...

At the moment the Siyakhula Living Lab is rolling out communication services and IT training at local schools, used as points of- presence for the community’s IT needs (Cunningham et al. 2012). In order to achieve its goals, the Siyakhula Living Lab uses an integrated research, development and training approach to solve the communications and accessibility problems faced by remote rural communities (e.g. e-business and basic Internet connectivity, access via GSM and WiMAX, VSAT and Digital Access Nodes) (Cunningham et al....
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