The paper examines the living lab as an approach within communication studies for examining the naturalistic involvement of users in ICT design, based on ethnographic principles. First a more precise definition of the living lab is presented, indicating the epistemological background. Next the different phases of our living lab configuration are elaborated, illustrated by a research project on a handheld electronic reading device (e-paper). Finally we discuss the value of this approach for companies involved in ICT research and design. In the conclusion also the advantages on product development level and social level are indicated.