Research Design Connections

Measuring Has Consequences (05-25-16)

Devices are being used to collect information from people in a number of different situations, and the resulting data are being used to guide design.  Research by Etkin indicates that measuring has psychological repercussions that could affect responses to objects and environments ultimately developed: “The appeal of personal quantification seems clear. By better understanding our behavior, we can make the necessary changes to live happier, healthier lives. . . .


Research Conversations


Applying design-related research done by social and cognitive scientists makes it much more likely that both academic environments and the people in them perform to their full potential, now and in the future.


Simonton has developed an important way to categorize human responses to situations—physical, social, cultural, and otherwise.  His work can be used to anticipate how people will respond to situations, to understand how spaces can be designed to support particular responses after they occur, and to determine how to make desired outcomes more likely. 


Human survival depends on water.  So water, inside and outdoors, has a significant effect on human thoughts and behaviors.  


Control and luxury are linked.

News Briefs

Aligning space design and religious beliefs can enhance health and wellbeing

Not all of us may find the same sorts of places restorative

Surface and light color influence opinions of retail spaces

Looking up is linked to freezing up

Consumer response to products and services is tied to leader stigma and venue quality

Preference for more or less orderly design can be tied to perceptions of control

Scents can help sell cities

Buildings influence nearby atmospheric conditions

Book Reviews


The design profession has waited a long time for this important book

The contents of this book can elevate the design of transit streets

Design at Work



MIT’s Stata Center inspires awe, but its heavy reliance on rectilinear elements means it does not do all that it might to sustain the wellbeing of its academic users.