Research Design Connections

Sitting, Standing, and Prompts (09-22-16)

Barbieri and team investigated the use of sit-stand desks in workplaces.  They conducted a study that “aimed to document user behaviors and compare the use of two sit-stand workstation based interventions among two groups of administrative office workers: an “autonomous” group in which these workstations were introduced following some general ergonomic guidelines, and another “feedback-system” group in which the sit-stand tables were furnished with an automatic reminder system: users were prompted to accept, delay or refuse pre-programmed changes in table position, and if they accepted, the

Repercussions of Stereotypes (09-21-16)

Bonam and colleagues investigated carry over affects of stereotypes.  They report that “Social psychologists have long demonstrated that people are stereotyped on the basis of race. Researchers have conducted extensive experimental studies on the negative stereotypes associated with Black Americans in particular. Across 4 studies, we demonstrate that the physical spaces associated with Black Americans are also subject to negative racial stereotypes. Such spaces, for example, are perceived as impoverished, crime-ridden, and dirty. . . .

Resting (09-20-16)

An article by Rhodes in the British Psychological Society’s publication The Psychologist, announces a major exhibit on resting that will take place in United Kingdom.  As she reports:  “A major new exhibition exploring rest and noise, tumult and work, through installations, performance, drawing, poetry, data, sound and music, opens at the end of September.


Research Conversations


There are many, many ways that design can reduce stress; encourage healthy eating, sleeping, and activity levels; and, in general, help humans live with fit minds and bodies.


Communicating with each other and spending time together defines us as a sociable species, distinct from the myriad others that surround us.  Design can make it more likely that we socialize in ways that increase our mental and physical wellbeing.


Cognitive scientists have learned a lot about how design can support spiritual experiences.  

A recent issue of The Scientist reviewed research, recent and classic, on the senses besides the basic 5 (vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) that humans use to collect information about what’s going on in their world. 

News Briefs


Green walls affect performance


Not all views produce the same effects

Parliament chambers say a lot about how countries are governed

Assessments of visual and acoustic elements are intertwined

A new way to measure noise

Being watched and monitored changes actions

Seeing eyes alters thoughts and behaviors

Reactions to images depend on what we're told about them

Book Reviews

A cross-disciplinary analysis that will encourage new ways of thinking, designing, and eating

Design at Work


The ethereal transparent cube that forms the ground floor lobby at 200 West Madison in Chicago is a positive introduction to the structure for visitors, is a great space for people waiting for appointments in the building to spend time, and enhances positive experiences for people who work in the building.