ESL – Life Environment Design Project

* This laboratory has been completed.

This consortium redefines life environment in order to realize a genuine eco-smart life based on the four basic concepts of "humans", "technology", "environment" and "society". This research aims to establish life environment designing beyond conventional housing, and to develop new businesses in the field of lifestyle creation industries. This consortium also selects challenges for life environment design in Japan from a global point of view with the cooperation of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in the U.S. that promotes "organic" architecture. It will study the mechanisms for supplying a quality life environment and comprehensive evaluation standards for lifestyle environments.


This research consortium aims to establish and supply rich life environment designs that meet the needs of human lifestyles and the environment while paying attention to the future earth environment, social environment including present family problems and trends in cutting-edge technologies such as IT. Based on a human-environment design approach, the consortium tries to understand life environments from an “information” point of view. This research seeks to connect human beings and the environment and to identify a human-oriented lifestyle that is appropriate for the coming knowledge creation rather than focusing purely on engineering.

Contents of research

This research project will create a future life environment model to seek future possibilities of the following three aspects: “planning” looked at mainly from changes in lifestyles or working styles, “production and supply” that uses IT such as ubiquitous computing or IC cards for material distribution or design process, and “information” of the lifestyle environment.
1) Research on “IT Life”
Research shall be made into lifestyles and life environment changes resulting from cutting-edge IT technologies such as broadband access, network home appliances, sensory media and robot technologies.

2) Research on the distribution of IT resources
Using IT resources where the materials themselves have integrated IT functions will further speed up computerization of the environment. Research shall be conducted into its methods and possible utilization in the future.

3) SOHO telework: a new way to work and a new lifestyle environment
Work styles at home such as SOHO or telework have been increasing. Consideration shall be made in regard to future challenges in lifestyle environments based on that background.

4) “Housing pret-a-porter”: housing using network matching
Research on low-cost houses that may be created by allowing clients, designers, builders and businesses to match their needs over the network and improve efficiency of the process from creation to procurement of materials.

Expected results and goal

– To construct a future living environment model most appropriate for the society of the future
– To construct a system on the three pillars of planning, engineering/manufacturing (including distribution of materials) and information concepts for a future lifestyle environment ideal for the society of the future.
– To create an evaluation standard for future lifestyle environments
– To seek new businesses in the lifestyle creation industry that involve the living environment of the future

Researchers, managers and professors

Riichi MiyakeDirector Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Nobuo Saito Vicepresident, Board of Trustees,
Professor, Faculty of Environmental Information(*)
Shigeru Ito Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Isao Tsukakoshi Guest Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Iwao Kanayasu Professor, Faculty of Environmental Information(*)

(*) Renamed to "Faculty of Environment and Information Studies" in 2007