Kemp and Williams analyzed business meetings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). What they learned is useful to people developing work environments in the UAE and neighboring countries with similar business behavior. Kemp and Williams found that “the Gulf Arab region offers an eclectic mix of different cross-cultural interactions, when business meetings are being conducted. Using . . . data about [scheduled] meetings held in three large organizations, each with a diverse cross-cultural workforce . . .
Rodgers investigates the relationship between newsroom design and news reported through a case study of the Toronto Star workspace. His project is important because the link between the physical environment and the reporting of news is infrequently researched and reported news can have a significant influence on future events. Much of Rodgers’ text will sound familiar to people who have investigated other work environments: “The city desk is composed of circulations, proximities, and connections.
Congdon and Gall present Steelcase’s recent research linking culture and design, which builds on the work of others, such as Geert Hofstede, in useful graphics at the web address noted in the citation, below. They describe their project succinctly: “Researchers at Steelcase, the office furniture company, have identified six dimensions of workplace culture that shape an office’s social dynamics . . . .
The Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) awarded its Chapman Prize to Susan Painter, Janice Fournier, Caryn Grape, Phyllis Grummon, Jill Morelli, Susan Whitmer, and Joseph Cevetello, and they used the prize money to research how libraries (and library design) can best serve current and potential users. SCUP quotes from their soon to be released monograph, “Research on Learning Space Design: Present State, Future Direc
Knowledge workers sit too much. Research has shown that their sedentary habits are bad for their physical and mental well-being – but if workers have the opportunity to stand while working, will they?
Research continues to pour in indicating that green spaces in urban environments are a good idea. White, Alcock, Wheeler, and Depledge found that “People who live in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater well-being than city dwellers who don’t have parks, gardens, or other green space nearby. . . . Examining data from a national longitudinal survey of households in the United Kingdom, . . .
Devlin and her research team begin by observing that “Multicultural sensitivity is important in clinical practice, yet we know little about how the physical environment projects this quality.” The researchers learned that “a therapist whose office included art and artifacts from a variety of cultures (e.g., through textiles, sculptures) was judged to be more open to multiculturalism than was the therapist whose office displayed objects from a tradition that could be categorized as more western.
Researchers have known for some time that watching fish swim in fish tanks is psychologically restorative and aquariums stocked with fish are regularly used to defuse stress in spaces in which people are likely to feel tense, such as dentists’ offices.
Psychological restoration, or restocking cognitive energy is generally associated with viewing nature. As Mastandrea states: “All scholars agree that contact with nature promotes several benefits (the recovery of central cognitive functions, the reduction of stress and the induction of positive emotions) that can be labeled as ‘psychological restoration’.” He believes that “that even a totally built and artificial environment can have a restorative potential” and reviews literature indicating that visits to art museums displaying art enjoyed by the visitor can be psy
Some studies are important because they rigorously confirm our expectations. A recent investigation by Wilhelm-Stanis, Vaughan, and Kaczynski of parks does just this. The research team found that “while more parks exist in lower-income neighborhoods, they tend to be less attractive than parks in upper- and middle-class neighborhoods, which have more amenities and are more visually pleasing . . . . In the study, which was completed in Kansas City, Mo., the research team found that lower-income areas had more parks, but fewer amenities such as playgrounds.