At the start of the project we are revising methods that we are to employ in the project. One of our methods for collecting empirical data is the so-called Mobile Research Lab. The method of “mobile research lab” builds on the idea and term coined by Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University) and Johannes Stripple (Lund University) to represent a type of research activity when an interdisciplinary group of researchers visits various sites to study a certain phenomenon in a city. According to Bulkeley herself, the method is based on a concept of infra-labs (infrastructure labs) put forward by Simon Marvin (Sheffield University) and colleagues in 2000s (Bulkeley 2016). Infra-labs implied a process of collectively researching infrastructure related controversies in urban contexts. Mobile Research Lab builds on the idea of infra-labs and is an innovative approach that comprises collaborative process of conducting in-situ analysis by a research team with actors directly and indirectly involved with urban sharing organisations in cities, i.e. social and business entrepreneurs, users, city governments, incumbent companies and civil society organisations, NGOs working for or against urban sharing. Unlike the original idea of a mobile lab that studies “a specific sustainability controversy, intervention, or experiment”, Mobile Research Lab investigates a more complex and broader societal phenomenon manifested in activities of a variety of organisations and societal actors. These actors hold a great diversity of opinions about the studied phenomenon and frame claims, problems and solutions in very different ways. The phenomenon is studied in urban context so in this sense the Mobile Research Lab has ethnographic touch.

Comment