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Data notizia
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Testo notizia

Now that the Italy-Austria Interreg project SENSHOME has come to an end, the University of Trieste has obtained new funding from the European Union, enabling the university to continue its studies. The funding will strengthen research and innovation and help to introduce advanced technology, more know-how and the best practices regarding architecture for people with cognitive disabilities.

This is the specific objective of the new Italy-Austria Interreg project "BeSENSHome: Sensors in sensitive environments. Inclusive spaces which accommodate the needs of those with cognitive disabilities".

As part of the BeSENSHome project, advanced systems and smart sensor networks will be specially installed into residences, day-care centres, workplaces and facilities hosting people with neurocognitive disabilities, in order to enhance environmental comfort for occupants. To achieve this innovative goal, these systems must be customisable in order to accommodate the needs of the residents, providing individuals with the maximum level of agency possible over their built environment. Thanks to artificial intelligence coupled with the sensor network, the environment will be able to learn the preferences or requirements of the occupant, identifying stressful triggers and adjusting environmental conditions. It will also be able to alert assistants if intervention is needed, pre-emptively preventing any potentially dangerous conditions from arising. The insertion of these sensor networks into people’s environments will be implemented to the finest detail to ensure optimal integration into existing contexts. To achieve these goals and make the system as useful and user-friendly as possible, a collaborative research and design approach will be adopted throughout the project.

The developed system will then be put to the test, implementing the technologies discreetly and unobtrusively in environments where neurodivergent people and their family members/caregivers need support in their daily lives.

This support will be enhanced by the study of architectural solutions for the spaces. For example, the appropriate choice of materials for furniture and upholstery, lights and light dimming devices will facilitate sight, tactility and comfort within the various environments. The chosen spaces will also be investigated from an acoustic, visual and thermo-hygrometric point of view. This is both in order to optimise the operation of environmental sensors and to study their appropriate positioning to ensure privacy, increase autonomy, and render everyday environments more inclusive and safe.

The UniTS scientific coordinator is Giuseppina Scavuzzo, Associate Professor in Architectural and Urban Composition, Coordinator of the Architectural Studies Course of the Department of Engineering and Architecture of the University of Trieste.

Project partners include: Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (lead partner), the University of Trieste, Kärnten University of Applied Sciences, Eureka system s.r.l., Fondazione Progettoautismo FVG onlus, MCI Management Center Innsbruck GmbH.