Research Design Connections

Pet Bathroom, San Antonio Airport

Pets are spending more time with their owners away from home, and an expanding number of spaces need to accommodate their special needs.  Designing places where pets, and their caregivers, can live happy lives is discussed in depth in this article.  

Federal law in the United States mandates that airports have “pet relief areas” for service animals.  The post security pet bathrooms at the San Antonio airport are outstanding.

Experiencing Dynamic Lighting (04-28-17)

Pedersen and Johansson investigated how motion activated street lights influence pedestrian behavior.  They found that participants in their study of motion activated lights in a simulated outdoor environment “walked significantly slower under [initially] dimmed than static lighting conditions, even after the illuminance had increased. . . . The effect was seen both before and after the increase to full light.

Another Reason to Design to Encourage Stairway Use (04-27-17)

Using the stairs instead of an elevator helps us keep trim and saves energy—and stairway design and placement, for instance, can boost the likelihood we’ll take the stairs.  New research supplies another reason to encourage stair use via design – we feel energized after walking up and down stairs.  Investigators have found that “10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine-about the equivalent to the amount in a can of soda. . . . [Patrick J.

Vacant Lots and Crime (04-25-17)

A study published in Applied Geography links well-kept vacant lots and lower crime levels.  Researchers found that “Maintaining the yards of vacant properties helps reduce crime rates in urban neighborhoods.”  Data were collected over 9 years in Flint, Michigan:   “’We’ve always had a sense that maintaining these properties helps reduce crime and the perception of crime,’ said Christina Kelly, the land bank’s [Genesee County Land Bank Authority] planning and neighborhood revitalization director.

Millennials and Workplaces (04-24-17)

Millennial leaders’ responses to workplaces were investigated via a recent study.  A podcast sponsored by Wharton featured Ron Williams and Rebecca Ray; Williams and Ray, who are both executives with The Conference Board, discussed research that group did with Millennial leaders.  The introduction to the transcript of part of that podcast reports that investigators determined that these Millennials “are more like the older generation than originally thought, and the current differences are mainly due to the life stage that they are in.”  Ray states that “Millennial leaders don’t necessarily

Walkability and Foreclosures (04-21-17)

Won, Lee, and Li studied links between walkability and foreclosure spillover effects (such as property prices declining near foreclosures).  They determined that “property values in walkable neighborhoods were less subject to foreclosure spillover, but this was only significant for middle/high-income neighborhoods. Walkable neighborhoods were shown to offer more advantages in maintaining neighborhood stability during the recovery of 2013 than in the market crash of 2010.

More Information on the Energizing Effects of Blue Light (04-20-17)

A team lead by Heo has found more evidence that seeing blue light, particularly at night, is energizing.  The researchers “investigated the immediate effects of smartphone blue light LED on humans at night. . . . Each subject played smartphone games with either conventional LED or suppressed blue light from 7:30 to 10:00PM (150 min). Then, they were readmitted and conducted the same procedure with the other type of smartphone. . . . use of blue light smartphones was associated with significantly decreased sleepiness . . . and confusion-bewilderment . . . and increased commission error.”

Bin Placement Affects Recycling and Composting Behavior (04-19-17)

DiGiacomo lead a study that assessed how the location of recycling and composting bins influences their use.  Details: “[the researchers] placed bins in three different locations: a garbage disposal area (the least convenient option), at the base of an elevator in a building (a more convenient option), and by elevator doors on each floor (the most convenient option). The experiments were carried out at three multi-family apartment buildings in Vancouver’s west side neighbourhood and in two student residence buildings at UBC. . . .

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Research Conversations

During too many meetings, whatever people have gathered to do just doesn’t get accomplished.  Science-informed design of meeting rooms can change that and make group gatherings more effective.
 

Reflected Façades

Façades are more than just skins that surround a structure.  Their design influences the thoughts and behaviors of viewers, sometimes without their knowledge.  Cognitive science research can be used to make it more likely that the designs of façades send chosen messages and encourage desired behaviors, inside and out.
 

Times Square

When people move, they burn off calories.  Slimming our waistlines isn’t all that moving does for us, however.  Research consistently shows, for example, that when we’re walking we think more clearly, creatively and productively (whether inside or outdoors), and get along better with others.
 

How do you decide what to name places, products, and projects? Do you consider how those names sound, for example?  Cognitive scientists spend a lot of time thinking about the implications of the letters and sounds in names.

PlaceCoach News Briefs

Office workstation

Sharing isn't always a good idea
 

Alleyway

Alleys can be pleasant places to spend time

 A-FOs can be better places to work

Prior state matters, a lot

Younger children may be less distractable than other people

Not everyone's sensory systems are the same

Living near a major road may harm our mental wellbeing

Different places on the planet => different preferences

Book Reviews

Digial Futures Bookcover

Insights on creating cities that support residents, visitors, and their technologies

Useful information that can be applied to create a world where more can prosper

Design at Work

PetBathroom

Pets traveling through the San Antonio airport, and their owners, are no doubt thrilled by its pet relief areas.