Research Design Connections

It’s Walkable, But Do They Walk? (08-11-17)

Travers and her colleagues investigated the link between walkability and actual walking among a group of Australian adults over 65 years old.  Looking at areas in a 400-meter radius around participants’ homes, the team “found no association between walkability of the built environment and walking behavior of participants. Although retirement village residents lived in more highly walkable environments, they did not walk more and their overall levels of physical activity were lower than those of community residents.”

Reverberations in Retail Spaces (08-10-17)

Lowe and Ramanathan investigated the consequences of acoustic reverberation in retail spaces.  They found that “relatively higher levels of acoustic reverberation can increase a consumer’s willingness to try unfamiliar products.  . . . Reverberation (reverb) refers to the prolongation of sound (Valente, Hosford-Dunn and Roeser 2008). Extremely high levels of reverberation might be understood or described as echo. . .  . Reverb levels are affected by the characteristics of an environment in which a sound is made.

Warm Backgrounds, Warm Assessments (08-04-17)

Choi, Chang, Lee, and Chang investigated how color can influence assessments.  They found via “experiments and field surveys in the USA and South Korea. . . .  that an anonymous person against a warm color background (vs. neutral and cold color background) is perceived to be one with warmer personality.”  Also, “nurses’ perception of warmth from a hospital’s ambient color affects their favorable judgment of the hospital and intention to take on an extra role.”

Typefaces and Taste (08-03-17)

Typefaces bring different sorts of tastes to mind.  Velasco and his team have found via a study with words written in 3 languages (Spanish, English, and Chinese) and conducted with participants from 3 countries (Columbia, the United Kingdom, and China) that  “People associate tastes and taste words (e.g., “bitter,” “sweet,” etc.) with shape features in predictable ways. . . . rounder typefaces were reliably associated with the word sweet, whereas more angular typefaces were associated with the other tastes in all 3 languages and countries. . . .

Trees and Comfort (08-02-17)

Urban trees have an important effect on how weather is experienced.  Researchers from the University of British Columbia have found that “Even a single urban tree can help moderate wind speeds and keep pedestrians comfortable as they walk down the street, according to a new . . . study that also found losing a single tree can increase wind pressure on nearby buildings and drive up heating costs. . . . ‘We found that removing all trees can increase wind speed by a factor of two, which would make a noticeable difference to someone walking down the street.

Crowd Control (08-01-17)

Sieben and her team studied crowd management.  Their work verifies the value of installing stanchions connected by ropes (or something similar; called the “corridor setup” by researchers) to funnel crowds through a space.  As the Sieben group details, “an experiment in which a large group of people . . . enters a concert hall through two different spatial barrier structures is analyzed. These two structures correspond to everyday situations such as boarding trains and access to immigration desks.  . . .

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Research Conversations

StockholmPlants

Humans live better lives around plants – whether those plants are “real” or man made or pictured in artwork.  Research in the sciences makes it clear that our green leafy friends can’t be ignored and shouldn’t be abandoned.
  

UnionStationChicago

Cognitive scientists have extensively researched how the design of a building can streamline its evacuation.    This article presents the most applicable of their findings.
 

2017Design

In the last three years (2015 – 2017) scientists have been busy publishing important new insights on how what we see, hear, touch, and smell influences how we think and behave.  Their most important design-relevant work is reported here. 
 

Often designing a familiar-seeming sort of environment/object is best, although there are plenty of situations when unusual is a better design direction.   

PlaceCoach News Briefs

IITStudentZone

Public debate on findings continues
 

RedChair

Color gets mainstream attention

Relevant research reviewed by a master

Light intensity affects mood and alertness

Response to art linked to the room

Positive design for the homeless and formerly homeless

Who likes what varies, a lot

Are all seasons created equal?

Book Reviews

health_and_well-being_for_interior_arch

Learn more about designing spaces where people do well, mentally and physically

Packed with useful insights  savvy designers can  apply

Design at Work

LondonDesMuseum

London’s Design Museum is a marvelous place to spend time and to learn about design's ability to influence our lives.