Research Conversations


Neuroscience research makes it clear that our cultures and the languages we speak have powerful effects on our design-based experiences.  It also highlights how design can recognize, reflect, and respect user group cultures and languages so people feel more comfortable and achieve objectives they prize.

We all need to sleep; when we don’t sleep well bad things happen inside our heads.    Design can make it easier for humans to drift gently off into healthy sleep—and to stay asleep—whether they’re at home, at a hotel, in a hospital bed, or trying to take a nap break at work.


Familiar, predictable design can be best, sometimes.   Neuroscience research indicates when that’s the case and useful ways to design for expectations.

When we’re awed our minds do all sorts of great things and both designed and natural objects and spaces can awe humans.  How can the forms of things and places generate awe?  Why does awe matter?  Applying neuroscience research to answer these questions enriches design practice.

PlaceCoach News Briefs


Naturalness prevails, again


Multiple benefits of nature sounds

EEG-derived data support use

Keeping noses to grindstones 

Distilling lessons from >600 studies

Reactions to art influenced

Preferred sets 

Acting like short adults

Design at Work


An area indoors with a water feature, some moving water that space users can see and hear, is one where design is doing good work.

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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Hashemi and colleagues probed how design can influence urbanites’ quality-of-life.

The Irish Times reports on a study presented at the European Congress on Obesity by Brouwer and van Rossum. 

Research by van Oordt, Ouwehand, and Paas confirms that design, particularly when it supports viewing nature, can promote mental refreshment.