Whether it’s subtle or dramatic, large or small, abstract or realistic, or something else entirely, visual art has a significant influence on the experience of being in a space. What have researchers learned about how it can increase our mental and physical wellbeing?
Bad weather can have positive repercussions. Lee and her colleagues report that “bad weather increases individual productivity and that it does so by eliminating potential cognitive distractions resulting from good weather. When the weather is bad, individuals appear to focus more on their work than on alternate outdoor activities.” Workplace designers are often charged with creating spaces that enhance performance; it seems one of the design elements they need to seriously consider is curtains.
Optimize the performance of minds and bodies
Data collected by de Dear and his team indicates that primary and secondary school students’ assessments of the temperatures in schools depends on their life experiences. As the researchers detail “An indoor operative temperature of about 22.5°C was found to be the students’ neutral and preferred temperature, which is generally cooler than expected for adults. . . . Despite the lower-than-expected neutrality, the school children demonstrated considerable adaptability to indoor temperature variations. . . .
More research, more reasons for treadmill desks. Labonte-LeMoyne and her team report that “An experiment was conducted in which participants either sat or walked while they read a text and received emails. Afterward, all participants performed a task to evaluate their attention and memory. Behavioral, neurophysiological, and perceptual evidence showed that participants who walked had a short-term increase in memory and attention, indicating that the use of a treadmill desk has a delayed effect.
News on views from office windows
News on views and why they matter
Place attachment—the important bond people form with an environment—is something that academics think about all the time, but not practitioners. That’s too bad; design efforts informed by research related to place attachment are more successful.
For many years, scientists have been investigating what elements of a space help us restock our levels of mental energy after we’ve depleted them doing knowledge work and other activities that require mental focus.
Green design is clearly here to stay—what have researchers learned about how being in environmentally responsible spaces influences human experiences?