2017 - January

Frank Lloyd Wright interior
Frank Lloyd Wright interior
Image credit: 
Sally Augustin

Visual Complexity: What is it, why does it matter, and how can you manage it?

Visual complexity is an important driver of experience.  Both too much and too little are bad for our mood and cognitive performance.  Neuroscience research reveals how to manage visual complexity, disorder, and clutter.

Designing for Engagement, Anywhere

“Engagement” is a hot topic—it’s being discussed by everyone from human resource managers to community organizers; boosting it is the goal of almost every group, regardless of size.   And the research is clear:  design can buoy users’ engagement with organizations, or not. 

Encouraging People to Be Well-Behaved, Via Design

Want people to obey the rules, do the right thing, keep out of mischief and just generally, behave in socially acceptable ways?  Environmental neuroscientists have done a lot of research on how design can encourage space and object users to be on their best behavior—insights from their studies can be applied in practice.

In Practice: Temporary Nests in Public Places

The design of temporary nests make a real difference in humans’ lives.  The spaces people call “home” for short periods of time can constructively enrich experiences when thoughtfully and empathetically developed.

Looking Up, Looking Down

Thinking changes with a tip of the head

Blue Light, Walking, and Creativity

Aligning project phases with working conditions expedites creativity

Problems with Boring Places

Too little is too bad

Lighting Public Squares

Bright, uniform, and overhead prevail

Negative Awe?

An outcome to be avoided

Color Saturation and Size

Color saturation influences perceptions

Neighborhood Design and Mental Wellbeing

Opportunities affect responses

The Fractal Dimension of Architecture 

Reviews fractals and their role in design, for the mathematically inclined reader

PawsWay, Toronto

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