Research Conversations


The cognitive science research is clear – using natural elements (for example, materials, sounds, light, plants, fresh air, and water) in interior spaces has positive consequences for how people think and behave.  What scientists have learned about nature-based experiences can inform design that enhances wellbeing and cognitive performance and  encourages worthwhile life experiences. 


Many notable studies with useful findings were published during 2019.  The most significant 87 of them, pertinent to projects focused on issues ranging from acoustics to zoo design, are highlighted in this article.


Neuroscience research consistently shows that humans prefer fundamentally familiar experiences and that sometimes “the usual” is “the best,” for our psychological and physical wellbeing.  

Several studies with interesting design implications were presented at the 2019 meeting of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).  The details needed to apply their findings are provided here.

PlaceCoach News Briefs

2019 study focuses on privacy

Location, learning links

Scenting for appealing products

Wi-Fi information crucial

Site for viewing films key 

Unexpected can be undesirable

Book Reviews


Spiritual aspects of place experience explored

Design at Work


The Great Court of the British Museum in London is a magical place, one that embodies many aspects of biophilic design.