Research Design Connections

Experience Sampling App (06-16-17)

Many researchers use experience sampling to collect information about user experiences in existing spaces as those experiences unfold.  More specifically, experience sampling “is used to ‘sample’ from participant ‘experiences’ by asking them [the participants] to complete short surveys throughout the day.”   A new app, available at http://www.experiencesampler.com, can streamline experience sampling.  As Thai and Page-Gould state, “existing experience sampling methods may be costly, require constant Internet connectivity, may not be designed sp

Coworking and Community (06-15-17)

Garrett, Spreitzer, and Bacevice investigated the development of community at coworking sites.  They collected information via a qualitative study at an unnamed coworking space in a suburban Midwestern town.  As the researchers explain, they identified two factors that contributed to the development of a sense of community (SOC) at their research site “1) social . . . motivation for community, and 2) autonomous structure and practices allowing members to . . . align their community involvement with their desire for community. . . .

Mortality and Green Spaces (06-14-17)

Women living in greener spaces have lower mortality rates.  James and his colleagues report that “Green, natural environments may ameliorate adverse environmental exposures (e.g., air pollution, noise, and extreme heat), increase physical activity and social engagement, and lower stress. . . . Using data from the U.S.-based Nurses’ Health Study prospective cohort, we defined cumulative average time-varying seasonal greenness surrounding each participant’s address using satellite imagery. . . .We followed 108,630 women and observed 8,604 deaths between 2000 and 2008. . . .

Seeing the Coast and Feeling Pain (06-13-17)

Tanja-Dijkstra and her colleagues linked seeing coastal scenes via virtual reality and experiencing less pain (even during dental treatments such as tooth extractions and fillings).  They report that “Virtual reality (VR) distraction has become increasingly available in health care contexts and is used in acute pain management. However, there has been no systematic exploration of the importance of the content of VR environments. Two studies tested how interacting with nature VR influenced experienced and recollected [remembered] pain after 1 week. . . .

Walking, Cycling, and Light Levels (06-12-17)

How do light levels influence the number of people walking or cycling?  Uttley and Fotios answered that question by analyzing “Pedestrian and cyclist count data . . . using the biannual daylight-saving clock changes to compare daylight and after-dark conditions whilst keeping seasonal and time-of-day factors constant. . . . . Daylight increased pedestrian numbers by 62% and cyclist numbers by 38%. . . .

Humans' Preference for Shiny Finishes (06-09-17)

Research by Silvia and his team confirms that people prefer shiny objects to matte ones.   Silvia and colleagues share that “Researchers in the evolutionary aesthetics tradition have suggested that people prefer shiny objects because glossiness connotes water. We . . . present an experiment that manipulated the glossiness of metal objects. Young adults . . . viewed silver coins that were either dull or in ‘brilliant uncirculated’ condition as well as copper cylinders that were either rough and tarnished, polished with a brushed surface, or polished with a mirror finish.

Mirrors and Eating (06-08-17)

A press release from Nagoya University indicates that seeing ourselves while we eat affects how much food we consume.  The reported findings have repercussions for the use of mirrors and mirror-like surfaces in spaces where people will eat and are particularly relevant, for example, in environments for older individuals who often dine alone.  Researchers determined that “people eating alone reported food as tasting better, and ate more of it, when they could see themselves reflected in a mirror, compared with when they ate in front of a monitor displaying an image of a wall.”  Previous rese

Commuting and Control and Wellbeing (06-07-17)

Smith’s work verifies that having a comfortable level of control over our lives increases our wellbeing and it also supports adding bicycle storage rooms to office buildings.  Smith found that “Active travelers are happiest with their commute trips. . . .For car and transit commuters, traffic congestion significantly decreases commute well-being and using the trip productively increases commute well-being . . . Data were collected from a web-based survey of workers . . . in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. with four modal groups: walk, bicycle, transit and car users. . . .

Equal Chair Heights (06-06-17)

Research by Baranowski and Hecht confirms that it's important for the seats of all people participating in a conversation to be about the same height above the ground.  The duo reports that “Film theories have long proposed that the vertical camera angle influences how the scene and the character in it are interpreted. An elevated camera (high-angle shot) should diminish the qualities of the actor, whereas a lowered camera (low-angle shot) should elevate the actor in perspective as well as in the viewer’s opinion. . . .

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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.