Mission & Goals

The Art Science interaction labs aims to have a high impact in fundamental science, with a sociatal impact. This page further elaborates the goals of the labs and the consortium.

XR: A new research space for human-centered sciences

XR immerses people in (partly) computer-generated 3D multisensory environments, in which people experience the feeling of presence; the feeling of “being there” (see ‘What is XR’). At ASIL, we explore how XR environments open up new spaces for research on human experience, behavior and interaction; what we call, extended research spaces. Accordingly, we trust that XR has major potential for human-centered experimental research, solving some important limitations of traditional research:

 XR can simulate realistic objects, contexts and scenarios within controlled laboratory conditions: XR offers game-changing technologies for bridging ecological validity and experimental control, in terms of stimuli control and corresponding measurement of human behavior and responses.

XR can create objects, contexts and scenarios, not possible in the physical world: Because of various constraints (physical, time/space, practical, financial, etc.), it is often not possible to study human interaction with(in) physical environments, objects, other people, etc. In addition, extra-ordinary, imaginary stimuli and illusions offer unprecedented ways of studying the human mind and behavior.

The ASIL positions itself at the forefront of XR-based innovation in human-centered experimental sciences. The power of the ASIL lies in the integration of a wide set of state-of-the-art XR technologies, including multisensory immersive displays – for stimuli creation – and embodied interfaces and measurement technology – for allowing interaction with XR content and for assessing human behavior and (neuro)physiological responses (see ‘Labs and Technologies’). Accordingly, ASIL offers an interdisciplinary research hub for XR-based research at UGent, leveraging innovative research in a wide range of scientific domains, including:

  • Cognitive and social (neuro)science
  • Arts and creative culture
  • Psychology and communication
  • Design and prototyping of products, environments, and services
  • User-centered XR engineering and data science
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Philosophy

From fundamental science to valorization and societal impact

At the ASIL, we are dedicated to investigate the key role of XR in cross-pollinating interdisciplinary science and societal impact. We trust that XR technology and research has a transformative potential for society as a whole. We aim at driving research-based innovation in a diverse range of societal sectors, including arts and culture, business industries, health and well-being, education, etc.

XR as an emergent set of technologies to transform societal sectors or proactively create new societal opportunities: XR technologies are adopted widely in many sectors of societal life providing radically new opportunities. At the ASIL we belief that development and innovation in these sectors should be research-driven, anchored in the scientific understanding of human experiences, interaction and learning with new XR-based technologies.

XR as a tool for societal sectors to gain knowledge on user experience and interaction: At the ASIL, we explore the potential of XR for the development of products, services and experiences of all kinds (including non-XR). XR technologies may thereby function as immersive setting for “virtual prototyping”, in which we can assess user/consumer experiences and behavior regarding products, services and environments with all available measurement technologies (up until brain responses).

Hosted in the beating heart of cultural and societal life in Ghent, the ASIL provides a chain of XR-based research infrastructures put in place to facilitate cross-pollination of science, entrepreneurship and societal and cultural stakeholders, in shaping the society of tomorrow.


  • Position the ASIL as the main center for XR-based research and innovation at UGent
  • Provide, and continuously develop, a top-notch technological infrastructure for XR-based research
  • We want to be at the forefront of XR-based research in the human-centered sciences
  • Proactively drive research-driven innovation in societal sectors (cultural-creative sector, business industries, health and well-being, education, etc.)