Research by Finan, Quartana, and Smith confirms how important it is to design in safeguards that prevent sleep from being disrupted (for example, adequate acoustic shielding around areas in homes, hospitals and dormitories, etc., where people can be expected to sleep). The team found that “partial sleep loss from sleep continuity disruption [being awoken after falling asleep] is more detrimental to positive mood than partial sleep loss from delaying bedtime [falling asleep later].”
Evaluating working away from the corporate camp
Researchers report that smelling the scent of lavender promotes sleep. Lillehei and her team determined, via a study in participants’ “usual sleep setting” that people with “self-reported sleep issues” slept better if they fell asleep while smelling lavender.
Angela Lillehei, Linda Halcon, Kay Savik, and Reilly Reis. 2015. “Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 430-438.
Research among “traditional peoples whose lifestyles closely resemble those of our evolutionary ancestors” has garnered information that should inform the design of places for sleeping, in homes and elsewhere. Study findings were published in Current Biology. Scientists collected data among the Hadza of Tanzania, the San of Namibia, and the Tsimane of Bolivia, learning that “The people studied consistently slept during the nightly period of declining ambient temperature. . . .
An important new design guide
Sharing living spaces in cohousing arrangements
Ahrentzen and Tural reviewed completed studies of how home design influences the activity levels of older individuals. Their “review focuses on six built environment characteristics: (1) barriers, supports and features that ‘fit'; (2) spatial organization and layout; (3) environmental cues; (4) ambient qualities; (5) assistive technologies; and (6) gardens and outdoor spaces.” They learned that “Pathway and corridor design, and environmental cues that convey an instrumental [direct] function of a space . . . facilitated active living.
People have been working at home since they’ve been working. Holliss reviews the evolution of home workplaces. Her work provides an interesting international context for the current development of new homes and at-home workplaces.
Frances Holliss. 2015. Beyond Live/Work: The Architecture of Home-Based Work. Routledge: New York.
As the average age of citizens increases, designing cities that support older people’s wellbeing becomes even more important. The Winter 2015 issue of Public Policy and Aging Report provides information useful to people designing for elders. As a related press release states, “The future of communities around the world will in large part be determined by their efforts to achieve a high quality of life for their older citizens. . . . developing cities that meet the interests of all generations should be an important goal for economic and social policy. . . .
Researchers at Ohio State University investigat