Research Design Connections

Proximity Still Matters (07-14-17)

Researchers associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that where we work has a significant effect on who we work with, still (Claudel, Massaro, Santi, Murray, and Ratti, 2017).  The investigators report that “Academic research is increasingly cross-disciplinary and collaborative, between and within institutions. . . . We examine the collaboration patterns of faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . . .

Photos and Experience (07-13-17)

Taking a photograph of something influences our sensory memories of it.  Barasch and her team (in press) found that “even without revisiting any photos, participants who could freely take photographs during an experience recognized more of what they saw and less of what they heard, compared with those who could not take any photographs. Further, merely taking mental photos had similar effects on memory. These results provide support for the idea that photo taking induces a shift in attention toward visual aspects and away from auditory aspects of an experience. . . .

Decluttering with Images (07-12-17)

Recent research indicates that it’s easier for people to discard “cluttering” objects after they photograph them.  Reczek, Winterich, and Irwin “found that people were more willing to give away unneeded goods that still had sentimental value if they were encouraged to take a photo of these items first. . . . ‘What people really don’t want to give up is the memories associated with the item,’ said Rebecca Reczek  . . . . ‘We found that people are more willing to give up these possessions if we offer them a way to keep the memory and the identity associated with that memory.’ . . .

Noise and Infertility (07-11-17)

Min and Min linked exposure to loud-ish noises and male infertility.  The researchers report that they “examined an association between daytime and nocturnal noise exposures over four years . . .. and subsequent male infertility.  We used the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (2002–2013), a population-wide health insurance claims dataset. A total of 206,492 males of reproductive age (20–59 years) with no history of congenital malformations were followed up for an 8-year period. . . . Data on noise exposure was obtained from the National Noise Information System.  . .

Phones and Thinking (07-10-17)

If they’re nearby, our phones effect how we think—in ways that complicate the development of workplaces where people work to their full potential—even if they’re turned off.  Researchers found that “Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off.  . . .  researchers asked study participants to sit at a computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration in order to score well. . . .

Enjoying Activities (07-07-17)

Chim and her colleagues studied the alignment between people’s preferred mood and their responses to the activities they’re engaged in.  The investigators determined that “people derive more enjoyment from activities that match how they ideally want to feel (their “ideal affect”). . . . the authors conducted 4 studies that examined whether valuing calm and other low arousal positive states (LAP) increased enjoyment of calming (vs. exciting) activities. . . .  the more participants valued LAP, the more enjoyment they experienced during calming (vs.

Prezi Prevails (07-06-17)

Moulton, Turkay, and Kosslyn wanted to know more about how the presentation tools used influence listeners’ responses to talks. What they learned is useful to all professionals sharing information.  The researchers “recreated a real-world business scenario in which individuals presented to a corporate board. Participants (playing the role of the presenter) were randomly assigned to create PowerPoint, Prezi, or oral presentations, and then actually delivered the presentation live to other participants (playing the role of corporate executives). . . .

Hospital Art Preferences (07-05-17)

Nielsen and her team investigated the sorts of art preferred by hospital patients.  They determined that patients “primarily ranked items to favor figurative art painted in light colors.”

Stine Nielsen, Michael Mullins, Lars Fich, and Kirsten Roessler.  2017.  “The Significance of Certain Elements in Art for Patients’ Experience and Use.”  Visual Anthropology, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 310-327.

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Research Conversations

WorkplaceSeating

The chairs we sit in and look at influence how we think and behave.  Their design affects our physical, emotional, and cognitive wellbeing and when we decide to work or otherwise live without them, that decision has important implications.   
 

NewZealandSign

Traveling from place to place can be a physical and mental challenge.  Researchers have learned a lot about how architecture, interior design, and signage can help us keep moving toward our intended destinations, stress free (relatively). 
 

BostonFountain

The design of spaces and objects affect acoustic experiences. Scientists have carefully investigated how the sounds we hear influence the professional, social, and cultural lives we live, and the insights they’ve gathered should inform the design of situation-effective soundscapes.  
 

How air temperature influences humans psychologically has been extensively studied.  

PlaceCoach News Briefs

AmsterdamMuseum

Go big and high or small and low
 

ChicagoTowers

Choice depends on professional training

Guide to making the case for green offices

The last place can be a good place

Seat cushions and thinking, linked again

National culture affects room design desires

Gaze direction in portraits key

Design at Work

TheGlasshouse

A space that makes happy memories more likely.