Research Design Connections

Social Interactions and Workplace Design (10-02-15)

Korunka and Gerdenitsch studied social interactions among knowledge workers who moved into a new workplace.  The researchers describe the workplace transition: “63 employees of the human capital department of an international consulting firm were working in conventional office workplaces [described as cellular offices in a related conference presentation]. An extensive new office concept was designed and implemented. Instead of personal office desk workplaces, the new concept consisted of different zones for specific work activities.

More on Standing/Walking While Working (10-01-15)

Bantoft and her colleagues investigated the cognitive implications of doing knowledge work while standing or walking; their research supports findings already published by others.  The Bantoft team “examined the effect of working while seated, while standing, or while walking on measures of short-term memory, working memory, selective and sustained attention, and information-processing speed. . . .

Experiencing Culture Via Design


Thousands of miles away from the Middle Kingdom, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, helps visitors understand Chinese design. This is why this place works.

It’s safe to say that Americans visiting Flowing Fragrance know little about Chinese design. And that’s too bad, because how we relate to people from other countries is shaped by our positive experiences with their culture and the things created within its context.


Research Conversations

Fundamentals Image

Symmetry. Complexity.  Line.  Harmony.  Balance. . . .  The list of fundamental elements designers are trained to consider is long.  What have researchers learned about how each influences human thoughts and behaviors and how to best employ them?  Quite a lot.

Light has a primal effect on life experiences.  Design can influence the amount of light in a space, with powerful results.

To live their best lives, people must feel—and be—physically safe.  Design can make both perceived and actual security more likely.

Toronto Waterfront

Toronto's waterfront is familiar enough to be comfortable, but isn't so predictable that it's a boring place to be.

News Briefs

Close encounters with healthy travel options 

Co-Working Office

Tuning in to what's just right

Exploring and exploiting, by design

Lessons for other workplaces

Spreading the word about design thinking

Overcoming GPS's downside

Increasing understanding and memorability

Book Reviews

Use light's power to create spaces where humans thrive

Design at Work

Huntington Image

Design and culture should align.