Research Design Connections

Culture and Change (12-08-17)

Different cultures more effectively implement particular sorts of changes.  KelloggInsight, reporting on the work of Bryony Reich, states, “Societies, countries, communities, and friend groups—collectively known as network structures—that are more individualistic and loosely connected are better at adopting ‘low-threshold’ technologies, she [Bryony Reich, an assistant professor of strategy at the Kellogg School of Management] found.

Co-Living Preferences (12-07-17)

Ikea recently polled people to learn more about their co-living related preferences. Co-living people share common spaces, even, sometimes, bathrooms.  Since people may have been motivated to participate in the Ikea survey because they have some interest in co-living, data collected need to be used with care.  Data gathered indicate that among the many thousands of participants to date, “people who are of all ages, and are in any life situation, from all countries, on average:  would prefer couples, single women and single men in their community . . .

Personality and Climate (12-06-17)

Our personality seems tied, at least in part, to the climate where we grew up.  Since personality influences how people experience design/space, this link between personality and early living may explain consistencies found among user groups, and indicate reasonable design-response hypotheses based on user group locations, for example.  Wei and his team undertook their project because “Human personality traits differ across geographical regions.”  They established that “compared with individuals who grew up in regions with less clement [mild] temperatures, individuals who grew up in regions

Aesthetics and Alphabets (12-05-17)

Research indicates that human’s aesthetic preferences are reflected in the forms chosen for letters in alphabets and syllabaries (“in which characters represent syllables”).  Price, reporting on the work of Olivier Morin, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, shares that writing systems such as Cyrillic, Arabic, Sanskrit and 113 others “share basic structural features. . . .: characters with vertical symmetry (like the Roman letters A and T) and a preference for vertical and horizontal lines over oblique lines (like those in latters X and W). . . .

Experience, Personality and Noise (12-04-17)

Experience may influence how distracting it is to hear background noise.  Kou and team share that “Previous research has shown that background auditory distractors (music and sound/noise) have a more severe impact on introverts’ performances on complex cognitive tasks than extraverts (Dobbs, Furnham, & McClelland, 2011).”  The Kuo-led group partially replicated Dobbs and team’s study, with Chinese instead of English participants, finding that when “Chinese participants . . . carried out three cognitive tasks with the presence of Chinese pop songs, background office noise, and silence.

Art Value and Artist Grief (12-01-17)

Research indicates that the value of art is tied to its creator’s psychological state; it seems reasonable to extrapolate from this study to the value of design solutions, for example.  Graddy and Lieberman report that “Dates of death of relatives and close friends of 33 French artists and 15 American artists were gathered from electronic sources and biographies, and information on over 15,000 paintings was collected from the Blouin Art Sales Index and the online collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, the J.


Research Conversations


Coordinating design with organizational culture sends clear signals to space users about how an organization “thinks and behaves.” It enhances user wellbeing and cognitive performance; culture-inconsistent design stresses users, compromising their mental and physical health and comfort.


When all participants can effectively and efficiently communicate with each other, conversations help us manage our world and resolve differences in opinions.  Design can make it more likely that constructive discussions take place.


In studies published during the last three years (2015 to 2017), cognitive scientists have thoroughly investigated how people experience environmentally responsible design and its effects on their welfare and wellbeing.  This article summarizes their findings on “living green.”

People interested in developing health-promoting cities gathered in London for the first Healthy City International Congress and Exhibition.

PlaceCoach News Briefs


Perceptions and temperature related


Motion affects evaluations

Certifying is not satisfying

Workplace options => opinions and behaviors

Some pluses, some minuses

Efficiency tied to feeling comfortable

Oseland reports design priorities

Art and creativity, linked

Book Reviews


Understand technology's role in past, and future, design

Learn about flavor, design better spaces/objects

Design at Work


London’s Design Museum is a marvelous place to spend time and to learn about design's ability to influence our lives.