Research Design Connections

Auto-Focus (01-25-17)

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that we may be quicker to focus our thoughts in some locations than others.  A press release from Duke reports that “We are constantly being bombarded with attention-grabbing distractions, from the flashy shop fronts and advertisements that flank the side of the road to the tempting buzz of the phone during a meeting with the boss.

Taste and Culture (01-24-17)

People designing spaces, objects, and services don’t frequently consider how something tastes, literally, but thinking about flavors can result in useful insights for their work.  As stated on Bloomsbury’s webpage for The Taste Culture Reader, “Taste is recognized as one of the most evocative senses. The flavors of food play an important role in identity, memory, emotion, desire, and aversion, as well as social, religious and other occasions.”

Carolyn Korsmeyer (ed.).  2016.  The Taste Culture Reader:  Experiencing Food and Drink.  Bloomsbury:  New York. 

Design to Support Rituals (01-20-17)

Brooks and team’s study indicates how important it is to design spaces so that they support rituals.  The researchers found that “From public speaking to first dates, people frequently experience performance anxiety. And when experienced immediately before or during performance, anxiety harms performance. Across a series of experiments, we explore the efficacy of a common strategy that people employ to cope with performance-induced anxiety: rituals.

Physical Activity and Happiness Linked (01-19-17)

Lathia and colleagues have identified ties between physical activity and happiness.  As they report, “Although exercise has also been linked to psychological health (e.g., happiness), little research has examined physical activity more broadly, taking into account non-exercise activity as well as exercise. We examined the relationship between physical activity (measured broadly) and happiness using a smartphone application. .  . . . The findings reveal that individuals who are more physically active are happier.

Pages

Research Conversations

CeilingArt

The images that people see as they work, heal, study, and, in general, live their lives, have a significant effect on how they think and behave.   
 

Casual office seating

It’s difficult to design a workplace where employees perform to their full potential over an extended period of time. Using Maslow to guide design decisions increases the likelihood that design-based objectives are achieved and employees have positive at-work experiences.  
 

Rustic bedroom

In much of the developed world, people seem to be struggling to get enough “good” sleep.  Design can make it easier for us to drift gently off into healthy sleep—and  to stay asleep—whether we’re at home, visiting a hotel, in a hospital bed, or trying to take a nap break at work.
 

‘Tis the time of the tiny homes.  What does cognitive science have to say about the experience of living in them?
 

News Briefs

Glass art

Curvier or more angular makes a difference
 

Dome view

Feeling awed leads us to think in different ways

Perceptions trump reality and moods matter

Psychiatric nurses have clear opinions about what is best

Noise has multiple roles in mental health facilities

A useful new way to quantify responses

 Changing spaces, changing experiences

Research-based recommendations

Book Reviews

Dream Cities Cover

Provides useful context for the development of in-city spaces

Design at Work

PawsWay1

The design of Purina’s PawsWay center in Toronto boosts the mood—and wellbeing—of all of its users, regardless of species.