Thinking about the histories of colors and how they’ve been used in the past is fun—the perfect sort of activity for the day before a major holiday, such as today (tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US). For this sort of information on colors, visit this website: http://laphamsquarterly.org/fashion/maps/local-colors
Research Design Connections
A measurement technique developed by people studying pain may be useful to designers trying to understand the intensity of difficult to describe experiences.
Cascades Tissues Group surveyed people in the US who are or have been on-campus students at the kindergarten through graduate school level relatively recently. What they learned about how bathrooms at schools are being used is consistent with the findings of researchers who have studied workplace restrooms. For more information on that workplace research, read this article.
Goldin-Meadow’s work indicates the importance of being able to see the gestures of others; a strong argument for co-location. Her studies have “shown that the gestures we produce when we talk are not merely random movements used for emphasis—instead, these gestures are reciprocally tied to our thoughts. . . [gestures are] bodily action[s] that represents information and thus [have] an indirect effect on the world. . .
Hughes and Miller have collected additional information linking sensory experiences. They learned that among study their participants “there was an overall tendency to associate attractive voices with attractive faces and unattractive voices with unattractive faces, suggesting that a ‘what-sounds-beautiful-looks-beautiful’ stereotype exists.
Pulsford and his team have evaluated the hazards of sitting, using data collected over 16 years from thousands of men and women. Their findings should inform the selection of furniture for offices and other spaces. They report that “Sitting behaviours have been linked with increased risk of all-cause mortality. . . . Participants . . . provided information on weekly sitting time (at work, during leisure time, while watching TV, during leisure time excluding TV, and at work and during leisure time combined). . . .
Research by Finan, Quartana, and Smith confirms how important it is to design in safeguards that prevent sleep from being disrupted (for example, adequate acoustic shielding around areas in homes, hospitals and dormitories, etc., where people can be expected to sleep). The team found that “partial sleep loss from sleep continuity disruption [being awoken after falling asleep] is more detrimental to positive mood than partial sleep loss from delaying bedtime [falling asleep later].”
Allen and Pammer completed a detailed study of the link between hearing white noise and the ability of children with ADHD (7 to 14 years old) to pay attention. They studied the performance of kids working “under two noise conditions: a classroom noise condition and a classroom noise + white noise condition. The white noise stimulus was sounds of rain, administered using an iPhone application called Sleep Machine. . . . White noise may improve task engagement for non-medicated children.
Gueguen and his colleagues have linked seeing flowers with an increased likelihood to help others. In their studies, passersby were more likely to help researchers (male and female) who dropped something on the floor when that investigator was holding a bunch of flowers than when they were holding something else or nothing. The effect was not seen when people were carrying potted plants, just with cut flowers. The researchers state that “The positive emotions associated with the presence of flowers and their symbolism were used to explain our results.”