Designers are often interested in learning how an existing space is used so new environments can be programmed appropriately – either to support current activities or make others more likely. Hauptmann, Yu, and Yang at Carnegie Mellon “have developed a[n] [improved] method for tracking the locations of multiple individuals in complex, indoor settings using a network of video cameras . . . . The method was able to automatically follow the movements of . . .
Design researchers often find that people from whom data is collected before spaces are programmed or objects designed seem very certain of the information they are sharing with researchers. Those researchers will be interested to learn that “Overprecision—an excessive confidence that one knows the truth—is . . . the most durable . . . form of overconfidence . . .
Sherwin and her team investigated the experience of being in primary care physicians’ waiting rooms (for more info on waiting room design see https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/heathcare-focus-waiting-room-d...). They learned: “The waiting room has come to represent a containment space of inevitable frustration for patients and physicians alike. But what if the waiting room were good for more than just waiting? . . .
New evidence links language and altitude. Since language has been linked to interactions with designed objects, Everett’s research is of interest to designers (for more info on the design-language link, see https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/through-language-glass-why-wor...). He found a “direct influence of a geographic factor [altitude] on the basic sound inventories of human languages.”
Latham and Clarke investigated the relationship between neighborhood design and the recovery of older people from mobility related injuries. As might be expected, they learned “Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; 1996–2008) . . . .
Need more evidence that workplace windows enhance mental and physical well-being? If you do, you’ll be interested in a study spearheaded by Ivy Cheung, a neuroscience doctoral student at Northwestern University. Her team found that people “who had windows in the workplace slept an average of 47 more minutes per night compared to workers in offices without daylight exposure. They also . . . were more physically active, and reported better sleep quality and efficiency . . . .
Environmental psychologists established long ago that walking in green spaces is psychologically restorative. Research in the UK with portable EEG machines has quantified that benefit: “a body of restorative literature focuses on the potential benefits to emotional recovery from stress offered by green space and 'soft fascination'’ . . . .
Researchers at Northwestern have determined that it can be better to provide non-cash bonuses than monetary ones; which has implications for performance based enhancements to individual and group workspaces. Ma and Roese learned that “Less countable rewards can be more satisfying . . .
Per capita productivity increases as cities grow. Why? A research team has shown that when the populations of cities grow, people living there have more opportunities to interact face-to-face as travel infrastructure improves and this enhances performance.
Lin and team investigated the influence of interruptions on office worker stress levels. They learned that “Interruptions by others, or intrusions, are a common phenomenon in today’s workplaces. Intrusions can be disruptive for employees because they displace time required to complete job tasks (thereby increasing perceptions of workload).