Smart City

Explore the concept of SMART living and investigate whether any areas of your daily life could be innovated with a data-driven approach

Module details

Offered to 2nd Years
Mondays 16.00-18.00 
2 term module
7.5 ECTS
Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows

Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

Work alongside other students studying happiness and sustainability to explore the concept of smart living. What does a data-responsive environment really look like? What elements of your own life are ‘data-driven?’ Using a range of innovative techniques, map the impact of ‘data’ on your daily life. Develop potential applications or impacts of data-responsive technologies in a range of everyday situations and choose one to test in the real world.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Understood the premise, benefits and challenges of SMART living
  • Applied the responsive, data-driven approach to innovating aspects of your daily life
  • Created a personalized brief – analyzing your own life to identify opportunities to innovate
  • Developed a rationale for assessing the needs, benefits and successes of implementing such an innovation
  • Designed and tested a targeted innovation in your own life
  • Evaluated the impact of the innovation

Indicative core content

You will begin by examining the SMART technology around you. You will then explore the concept of smart living and apply the responsive data-driven approach to various different elements of your life (e.g. transport, education, household, healthcare, arts, entertainment). You will develop a rationale and method for assessing the benefits (or not) of smart processes. You will then create your own briefs using video or photo diaries and rotate through a number of mini design cycles before picking one idea to develop, prototype, test and evaluate.


  • Visual: SMART Living Poster (10%)
  • Multimedia: Video/Photo Diary Brief and Analysis (30%)
  • Practical: Design Process (20%)
  • Multimedia: Final Project Portfolio (40%)

Key information

  • You must be prepared to attend all classes and and undertake approximately 2-3 hours of private study or reading each week in addition to the assessment.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 6 course. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]

My Journey

You can focus your project on any area of smart living that you want to explore, but to give you some ideas of what students have tackled previously, take a look at these topics:

  • Addiction to technology – can we live without smart devices?
  • The quantified self – how can this be used to drive self improvement?
  • Developing a smart fridge to enhance student life

Project submissions can be really creative and can include any component you feel express your experience of completing the project. So far students have submitted:

  • Project reports and narratives
  • Video diaries
  • Short films
  • Podcasts
  • Websites
  • Newsletters
  • Posters
  • Handwritten journals
  • Hand made and digital artwork
  • Apps
"This module gave me the opportunity to rediscover and enjoy things that I had given up a long time ago"
"This module offers a really different experience, and I really enjoyed coming up with ideas that I wouldn’t normally come up with"
"I’m really pleased that I will be able to use this experience in my every-day life"
"This module really helps you to develop creativity – even if you don’t think you’re a creative person"