Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Bram Lievens


Personal Description

Bram Lievens (m) is a senior researcher and research valorisation manager within the IMEC-SMIT research center at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His key research activities are focused on user-centred interaction design. He has specific expertise in UX-design and contextual research by means of a user-centred multi-method toolset and Living Lab testing. Within SMIT he’s also responsible for setting-up new research initiatives for the Data & Society program. He has been active in numerous national and European projects within this domain. Bram is currently a council member of the European Living Lab Network. Bram Lievens holds a bachelor’s degree in social and cultural work and a master’s degree in communication science. After a brief period of working for various local authorities, he joined IMEC-SMIT in 2002.

Key Publications

  • Configuring Living Labs
    Pierson, J., & Lievens, B. (2005). Configuring Living Labs For A “Thick” Understanding Of Innovation. In Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings (Vol. 2005, pp. 114–127). Redmond, WA, USA.
    Open publication

  • The Use of Live-Prototypes as Proxy Technology in Smart City Living Lab Pilots
    With the rise of Internet-of-Things (IoT) a new wave of so-called smart technologies and related services have been introduced. When applied within an urban context, they tend to be ubiquitous, enabling a real-time interaction between the city, its environment and users, leading to a new set of human-computer interactions and user experiences. For the design of such technologies and services, researchers are challenged in finding effective methodologies that take into account this complex context of use. Especially in the very early phases of technology design, it can be rather complex to capture accurate user insights and requirements. In this paper, we investigate whether implementing a “live-prototyping tool” can respond to this need. By combining elements from both lo-fi prototyping as well as Proxy Technology Assessment (PTA), we investigated the benefits of an IoT-enabled proxy device as “live-prototyping tool”, that can be used during the first stages of development and deployed in the real-life environment of end-users. Results show that the use of such tool enables (HCI) researchers to collect more detailed data, interact more accurately and by so provide quick wins for the design and development process.
    Open publication