Research Conversations


Humans find the familiar comfortable and recognizable, predictable, understandable design should often prevail.   Neuroscience research indicates when that’s the case and useful ways to design for expectations. It also details how we experience time, directly and through design.


Scents and ventilation in use influence how we think and behave, our mental and physical wellbeing—they can even determine if objectives set in design briefs are met.  Smell, ventilation effects are powerful and found even when people are not consciously aware odors are present and when ventilation systems silently do their jobs.

Sally Augustin

When design elements are alive (or were alive) they impart a distinctive positive energy to whatever is being created, place or object. Neuroscience research sheds light on these effects and how they can best be achieved.

All humans have the same core objectives for how their lives are lived, according to often replicated neuroscience studies. What are those goals? How can design make it more likely that they are achieved?

Book Reviews

PlaceCoach News Briefs


Health-elevating choices

Ceiling height-, floor area-related results 

Promoting breakthrough thinking

Influencing impressions of security

Location selected, outcomes affected

Different places for different people

Design at Work

A place where you feel nostalgic can be a place that’s good for your mental performance and for your soul.

Open Access Article

Special Focus


It’s great when there’re resources (time, money, and otherwise) to thoroughly deal with all of the sensory issues that might arise in a workplace—but that’s often not the case.  Neuroscience research can guide you to highest priority actions.

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Krys and colleagues report that that not all cultures prioritize happiness in the same ways; this may influence programming data collected, for example.

Research by a Fattahpour-lead team indicates that there are positive implications of nature soundscaping hospital emergency departments.

Rodriguez-Labajos investigated the design of adult mental health inpatient facilities and their effects on patient outcomes via a literature review.