Research Conversations


Spaces that support positive spiritual experiences improve users’ lives, cognitively and physically.  Their design can mentally sustain users, helping them deal positively and effectively with life circumstances and challenges.  Cognitive science clearly lays out why and how design can best foster desired spiritual moments.


Neuroscientists have thoroughly researched how school design affects educational outcomes, teacher performance, and user wellbeing.  Applying their findings makes learning a more productive and pleasant experience—even when recess is not an option.  


Scientists have determined that surface textures, colors, patterns, etc., have a significant effect on how people experience their physical world, which has repercussions for not only mental and physical health and wellbeing but also for professional performance, socializing among individuals, and other key design-related outcomes.

Multiple important studies related to visual complexity, disorder, and clutter, completed by neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and similar researchers, have been published in 2014 and later years.

Trail through a natural wetland

Visits to parks and natural areas have long been known to provide mental and psychological benefits. Supporting ecological diversity within those human-managed areas is often another important goal. More research is now being done on how those two aims may differ or align.

PlaceCoach News Briefs


Plan sights, sounds, and scents


New/Old ways to mentally refresh

Design and performance evaluated

Factors linked to desired responses

Warmer better for women, cooler better for men

Places where children feel safe

Kids and adults have similar preferences

Familiar or unfamiliar best?  It depends.

Book Reviews


A valuable resource for anyone intrigued by mind-body links

Design at Work


The Espaces Multimedia are teeny-tiny islands of mental health restoring Zen in the midst of one of the world’s largest airports.