Postdoctoral researcher, University of LeuvenBelgium
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Iris Van Steenwinkel is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Architecture at the University of Leuven, Belgium (KU Leuven). She is part of Research[x]Design, an interdisciplinary team of architects/designers, industrial engineers, sociologists/anthropologists and historians. In June 2015, she was awarded a PhD. Its title is 'Offering Architects Insights into Living with Dementia: Three Case Studies on Orientation in Space-time-identity'. She is interested in the architecture of residential buildings and environments. Through an architectural and anthropological approach she studies meanings and practices within architecture as the frame for residents' everyday lives. For her master thesis, which she finished in 2010, she explored which architectural elements contribute to making a house into a home in the context of housing for older people. Through her PhD research she gave voice to people with dementia and provided insights into their experiences in a format that allows architects to develop affinity with their perspective.