Living Lab

  • Rianne DekkerEmail author
  • Albert Meijer
Living reference work entry



Living labs are a research and design methodology applied by research institutes in cooperation with public and private partners for developing and testing innovations in co-creation with users in real-life settings.


Living lab refers to both a methodology to experimentation and innovation and the physical spaces in which this is situated. The methodology helps tackling problems at hand by designing and testing of new solutions. “Living labs” or “living laboratories” were originally developed for technological innovation in the 1990s. Since the 2000s, living labs have been an emerging practice in the social sciences, focusing on social innovation. Surprisingly, public administration research has paid scant attention to living labs to date.

An obvious obstacle to application of a living lab approach in public administration research is the lack of conceptual and methodological clarity (cf....

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utrecht University School of GovernanceUtrechtThe Netherlands