The text below is taken from http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/architecture/people/meagher_m
Meagher’s research involves the intersection of physical and digital design, engaging topics in architecture and computer science and employing research methods specific to both disciplines. The following descriptions represent the range of topics that he is currently engaged with.
1. Augmented Environments: The ubiquity of technology for sensing in the built environment offers unique opportunities for the architect. Information about air, climate, and the activities of people is often used as a means of producing more efficient buildings; my research has focused not so much on this instrumental use of technology as on the cultural and typological implications of responsive buildings and other augmented environments. Using prototypes to explore the integration of dynamic information in the architectural environment, I have been interested in the visualization of dynamic information and the effects of integrated digital information on the perception of the city.
2. Digital Forms of Making: The processes by which buildings are designed have been challenged by the global dispersion of the design team and the introduction of digital design and communication tools. This is a topic that I have looked at primarily through the development of proposals for the future of the architectural design studio: working with code and algorithmic design methods is an important way in which architects can take charge of the digital tools at their disposal, and I am involved in developing models for studio education that include extensive hands-on involvement with computational tools for design and fabrication.
3. Digital Culture: The widespread use of social networking software and the availability of these applications on mobile devices have led to new social practices and new ways of experiencing familiar environments such as the home or the public urban realm. These practices also introduce new forms of interaction between physical and digital architectures, among these the augmentation of physical environments with digital information. I am particularly interested in the use of tangible interfaces for digital information in the urban context, and the implications of these practices for the experience of the city and the ways in which cities are used and understood.
4. Visualizing Data: Data visualization is the branch of computer science research which deals with visually understanding and communicating data using the digital medium. It involves the translation of data into a visual language, revealing inherent characteristics that become legible as patterns. Data visualization is based on the use of computation to support data analysis, the generation of graphic output, and interactivity. My research in this field has focused on the physical integration of digital data in the building and the city.