Any Designed Environment

Humans' Preference for Shiny Finishes (06-09-17)

Research by Silvia and his team confirms that people prefer shiny objects to matte ones.   Silvia and colleagues share that “Researchers in the evolutionary aesthetics tradition have suggested that people prefer shiny objects because glossiness connotes water. We . . . present an experiment that manipulated the glossiness of metal objects. Young adults . . . viewed silver coins that were either dull or in ‘brilliant uncirculated’ condition as well as copper cylinders that were either rough and tarnished, polished with a brushed surface, or polished with a mirror finish.

Mirrors and Eating (06-08-17)

A press release from Nagoya University indicates that seeing ourselves while we eat affects how much food we consume.  The reported findings have repercussions for the use of mirrors and mirror-like surfaces in spaces where people will eat and are particularly relevant, for example, in environments for older individuals who often dine alone.  Researchers determined that “people eating alone reported food as tasting better, and ate more of it, when they could see themselves reflected in a mirror, compared with when they ate in front of a monitor displaying an image of a wall.”  Previous rese

Commuting and Control and Wellbeing (06-07-17)

Smith’s work verifies that having a comfortable level of control over our lives increases our wellbeing and it also supports adding bicycle storage rooms to office buildings.  Smith found that “Active travelers are happiest with their commute trips. . . .For car and transit commuters, traffic congestion significantly decreases commute well-being and using the trip productively increases commute well-being . . . Data were collected from a web-based survey of workers . . . in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. with four modal groups: walk, bicycle, transit and car users. . . .

Equal Chair Heights (06-06-17)

Research by Baranowski and Hecht confirms that it's important for the seats of all people participating in a conversation to be about the same height above the ground.  The duo reports that “Film theories have long proposed that the vertical camera angle influences how the scene and the character in it are interpreted. An elevated camera (high-angle shot) should diminish the qualities of the actor, whereas a lowered camera (low-angle shot) should elevate the actor in perspective as well as in the viewer’s opinion. . . .

Babies and Color (06-05-17)

Skelton and her colleagues thoroughly investigated how babies (4 to 6 month olds) experience colors.  They determined that “infants have color categories for red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. We show that infants’ categorical distinctions align strikingly with those that are commonly made in the world’s different color lexicons [systems/dictionaries]. . . .


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