LINCS and SBE Announce New Studentship

We’re delighted to announce that recent interviews have confirmed the offer of a PhD studentship to a new cross-disciplinary project which brings together expertise from LINCS and from Heriot-Watt’s School of the Built Environment (SBE). The studentship is one of a set offered under the University’s ‘Creativity, Design & Innovation’ theme  earlier this year. The LINCS-SBE partnership has led to the development of an emerging programme of work under the banner ‘Environment and Interaction’ (EnvInt for short). In a globalised world where people are more and more mobile, spaces are becoming increasingly multilingual, multicultural and multimodal. The EnvInt group is interested in such matters as the following:
• Environmental planners take care to consider the experiences of individuals within the spaces that people design and manage. By working closely with linguists, planners will be able to interrogate more closely the ways in which the use of human languages responds to the designed environment.
• Linguistic interaction is not confined to a single modality. We communicate with one another in many different ways – speech, writing, signs and gestures. The ideal designed space will anticipate and accommodate all of these forms.
• The modern world is a place of immense human and cultural diversity. Throughout the world, it is now commonplace to encounter more than one language in the course of everyday life. Different languages interact differently with the features of social spaces. Evidence-based planning can help to sustain and indeed enhance effective communication between people.
• The environments within which we interact increasingly incorporate both material and virtual elements. Understanding the relationships between these for communication-participants will lead to more satisfying experiences of interpersonal contact.
Initial scoping of the theme will be developed through the studentship which will be examining the effects of acoustics on speech intelligibility in multilingual spaces. We very much hope that Kivanc Kitapci will soon be a familiar face in both LINCS and SBE. EnvInt members are working on further proposals for research in areas of mutual interest – watch this space for news of what happens next!

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