Research Design Connections

Spicy Food and Aggression (03-29-17)

Batra and his colleagues investigated the relationship between tasting spicy food or seeing spicy food and how aggressive people are.  They found that “consumption of, and even mere exposure to spicy food [seeing pictures of it, for example], can semantically activate concepts related to aggression as well as lead to higher levels of perceived aggressive intent in others.”  These findings indicate that care should be exercised when using images of spicy foods to decorate spaces, etc.

Relaxing Nature Sounds (03-28-17)

Hearing nature sounds does indeed relax people who are stressed.  Van Praag and her team report that their “findings may help explain reported health benefits of exposure to natural environments, through identification of alterations to autonomic activity and functional coupling within the DMN [default mode network of the brain] when listening to naturalistic sounds.”  Natural sounds that are relaxing include, for example, gently moving water (think: burbling brooks) and leaves rustling in a gentle breeze.

Virtual Reality, Mood, and Feeling Mentally Refreshed (03-24-17)

Schutte and her team have learned that time spent in virtual reality nature, compared to time spent in virtual reality urban spaces, can lead to better moods.  Also, people who experience virtual reality nature believe that they are more refreshed mentally (in other words, that they are more cognitively restored) after spending time there than the people placed in the virtual urban places.  The researchers immersed users in 360-degree natural or urban interactive virtual environments and learned that “Virtual reality experience of a natural environment compared to virtual reality experience

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Research Conversations

RestroomSign

Public bathrooms can be designed so that they make the lives of users a little—or a lot—better.  Social science research details ways design can provide welcoming, comfortable experiences to everyone visiting a restroom.
 

MITLobby

Research on educational spaces, at both the pre K-12 and college/university levels, continues to generate fresh, important insights .  This new wisdom supports design options that make learning a more pleasant and productive experience. 
 

BeeInTheCatmint

Actively managing how a place or object smells is becoming increasingly accepted and strategically important.  Scientific studies detail how to create scent-scapes that drive design solutions to successfully meet objectives.
 

What scientists have learned about our experiences in vehicles should not only be applied when new transporting spaces are designed, but also as more stationary places are being developed.

PlaceCoach News Briefs

BeachWalk

Another reason to build in opportunities to walk, indoors and outside
 

SwedishFarmersMarket

Consistency matters, a lot

Green boosts workers' professional experiences

Use islands not aisles

Consider task difficulty

Motivating workers via workplace design

A guide to getting people where they want to be

Vegetation cover and mental health are related

Design at Work

TheGlasshouse

A space that makes happy memories more likely.