Research Design Connections

Spicy Food and Aggression (03-29-17)

Batra and his colleagues investigated the relationship between tasting spicy food or seeing spicy food and how aggressive people are.  They found that “consumption of, and even mere exposure to spicy food [seeing pictures of it, for example], can semantically activate concepts related to aggression as well as lead to higher levels of perceived aggressive intent in others.”  These findings indicate that care should be exercised when using images of spicy foods to decorate spaces, etc.

Relaxing Nature Sounds (03-28-17)

Hearing nature sounds does indeed relax people who are stressed.  Van Praag and her team report that their “findings may help explain reported health benefits of exposure to natural environments, through identification of alterations to autonomic activity and functional coupling within the DMN [default mode network of the brain] when listening to naturalistic sounds.”  Natural sounds that are relaxing include, for example, gently moving water (think: burbling brooks) and leaves rustling in a gentle breeze.

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Research Conversations

During too many meetings, whatever people have gathered to do just doesn’t get accomplished.  Science-informed design of meeting rooms can change that and make group gatherings more effective.
 

Reflected Façades

Façades are more than just skins that surround a structure.  Their design influences the thoughts and behaviors of viewers, sometimes without their knowledge.  Cognitive science research can be used to make it more likely that the designs of façades send chosen messages and encourage desired behaviors, inside and out.
 

Times Square

When people move, they burn off calories.  Slimming our waistlines isn’t all that moving does for us, however.  Research consistently shows, for example, that when we’re walking we think more clearly, creatively and productively (whether inside or outdoors), and get along better with others.
 

How do you decide what to name places, products, and projects? Do you consider how those names sound, for example?  Cognitive scientists spend a lot of time thinking about the implications of the letters and sounds in names.

PlaceCoach News Briefs

Office workstation

Sharing isn't always a good idea
 

Alleyway

Alleys can be pleasant places to spend time

 A-FOs can be better places to work

Prior state matters, a lot

Younger children may be less distractable than other people

Not everyone's sensory systems are the same

Living near a major road may harm our mental wellbeing

Different places on the planet => different preferences

Book Reviews

Digial Futures Bookcover

Insights on creating cities that support residents, visitors, and their technologies

Useful information that can be applied to create a world where more can prosper

Design at Work

1447

The 1447 is a place that works because its design recognizes and respects the tasks its users need to accomplish.