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Constructing Adaptive Street Ecologies : Designing Interaction-Based Frameworks

This thesis explores the interactions between pedestrians and vehicles to design a system that responds dynamically to pedestrian behaviour. It aims to create an adaptive street ecology by establishing an interaction between pedestrians and the street that enables changes through time.

The street's current design communicates with pedestrians through its structures and signs, such as crossings and lights, while its capacity to respond and adapt is limited. In contrast, I argue that the street environment is inherently fluid, dynamic and changing. Therefore, we should analyse its dynamics and design the street to be responsive. The research examines how to design a pedestrian-centred street system that adapts dynamically to human behaviour and evolves over time due to its adaptive nature.

Adaptive street ecology, in this PhD, is an ecosystem that shapes itself by studying its actors, the pedestrians. This research proposes the design of an adaptive system for the street environment through the pedestrians' behaviours. By designing interventions for the street environment, the study aims to demonstrate how to create an adaptive street ecology.

Key details


  • Sponsored by Hyundai-Kia Laboratory


More about Selin

Selin Zileli is a design researcher and PhD candidate at the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre group in the RCA funded by Hyundai-Kia Lab. Her work examines the circular interactions between space, human and non-human agents.
As a designer, Selin is passionate about integrating the concepts of emergence, adaptation and cybernetics. She seeks to answer the question of how can we design responsive spaces that engage with its users by generating interactions in a process of mutual adaptation?
Selin's work has been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, London Design Festival 2019 and presented at the MIT Design Lab, DesForM 2019 Beyond Intelligence Conference and Artificial Life 2021 Conference.

BA Design, Universitat de Barcelona, 2014 (Exchange Student);

BA Industrial Design, Izmir University of Economics, 2016;

MRes Design, Royal College of Art, 2018

Researcher & Designer, Intelligent Mobility Design Centre, London, 2018 & 2020;

Visiting Lecturer, Royal College of Art, London, 2019-2021;

Research Assistant, Imperial College London, 2018

Research Assistant, Royal College of Art, London, 2018 & 2019;

Industrial Designer, Ges Technology, Istanbul, 2017;

Design Biennial Assistant, IKSV, Istanbul, 2016;

This PhD is Sponsored by Hyundai-Kia Laboratory, Intelligent Mobility Design Centre.

Selected for a student scholarship for ALIFE 2021 conference.

RCA Research Biennale (Online) / 02. 2021 - 03.2021

Saatchi Gallery / Future of Flight / 08.2019

WIP Show RCA / 02.2019

London Design Festival / 09.2018

MRes End of The Year RCA Show / 09.2018

3rd International Design Workshop / Go-Yukkuri Project / Shizuoka University of Art and Culture (SUAC) in Japan / 08.2016

Zileli, S., Wu, J, Diels, C., & Boyd Davis, S. (2021) Creating Artificial Societies through Interaction Analysis: Translating Qualitative Observational Study into Agent-Based Modelling. Artificial Life-Robot 100, MIT Press.

Zileli, S., Boyd Davis, S., & Wu, J. (2019). Towards transparency between the autonomous vehicle and the pedestrian. Design and Semantics of Form and Movement, DesForm 2019: Beyond Intelligence, 96-104.

Wu, J., Johnson, S., Hesseldahl, K., Quinlan, D., Zileli, S., & Harrow, P. D. (2018, September). Defining ritualistic driver and passenger behaviour to inform in-vehicle experiences. In Adjunct proceedings of the 10th international conference on automotive user interfaces and interactive vehicular applications (pp. 72-76).

Artificial Life (ALife2021) Robot 100 Conference Paper Presentation formerly at Prague, Czech Republic (virtual).

Design and Semantics of Form and Movement (DesForM 2019) Beyond Intelligence Conference Paper Presentation at MIT Design Lab in Boston, United States.

RCA Summer Student Conference (PhD Status Presentations) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.