Research Design Connections

Touch Sensitivity (12-11-17)

Research indicates that our skin is incredibly sensitive.  Carpenter and his team determined “in a series of psychophysical experiments that humans can discriminate surfaces that differ by only a single layer of molecules.”

Cody Carpenter, Charles Dhong, Nicholas Root, Daniel Rodriguez, Emily Abdo, Kyle Skelil, Mohammad Alkhadra, Julian Ramirez, Vilayanur Ramachandran, and Darren Lipomi. “Human Ability to Discriminate Surface Chemistry by Touch.” Material Horizons, in press.

Culture and Change (12-08-17)

Different cultures more effectively implement particular sorts of changes.  KelloggInsight, reporting on the work of Bryony Reich, states, “Societies, countries, communities, and friend groups—collectively known as network structures—that are more individualistic and loosely connected are better at adopting ‘low-threshold’ technologies, she [Bryony Reich, an assistant professor of strategy at the Kellogg School of Management] found.

Co-Living Preferences (12-07-17)

Ikea recently polled people to learn more about their co-living related preferences. Co-living people share common spaces, even, sometimes, bathrooms.  Since people may have been motivated to participate in the Ikea survey because they have some interest in co-living, data collected need to be used with care.  Data gathered indicate that among the many thousands of participants to date, “people who are of all ages, and are in any life situation, from all countries, on average:  would prefer couples, single women and single men in their community . . .

Personality and Climate (12-06-17)

Our personality seems tied, at least in part, to the climate where we grew up.  Since personality influences how people experience design/space, this link between personality and early living may explain consistencies found among user groups, and indicate reasonable design-response hypotheses based on user group locations, for example.  Wei and his team undertook their project because “Human personality traits differ across geographical regions.”  They established that “compared with individuals who grew up in regions with less clement [mild] temperatures, individuals who grew up in regions

Aesthetics and Alphabets (12-05-17)

Research indicates that human’s aesthetic preferences are reflected in the forms chosen for letters in alphabets and syllabaries (“in which characters represent syllables”).  Price, reporting on the work of Olivier Morin, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, shares that writing systems such as Cyrillic, Arabic, Sanskrit and 113 others “share basic structural features. . . .: characters with vertical symmetry (like the Roman letters A and T) and a preference for vertical and horizontal lines over oblique lines (like those in latters X and W). . . .

Experience, Personality and Noise (12-04-17)

Experience may influence how distracting it is to hear background noise.  Kou and team share that “Previous research has shown that background auditory distractors (music and sound/noise) have a more severe impact on introverts’ performances on complex cognitive tasks than extraverts (Dobbs, Furnham, & McClelland, 2011).”  The Kuo-led group partially replicated Dobbs and team’s study, with Chinese instead of English participants, finding that when “Chinese participants . . . carried out three cognitive tasks with the presence of Chinese pop songs, background office noise, and silence.

Art Value and Artist Grief (12-01-17)

Research indicates that the value of art is tied to its creator’s psychological state; it seems reasonable to extrapolate from this study to the value of design solutions, for example.  Graddy and Lieberman report that “Dates of death of relatives and close friends of 33 French artists and 15 American artists were gathered from electronic sources and biographies, and information on over 15,000 paintings was collected from the Blouin Art Sales Index and the online collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, the J.

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Research Conversations

Dome view

Ceilings significantly affect the psychological experience of being in a place, although space users do not often focus on these horizontal planes.  This article reviews neuroscience research on ceilings and how these surfaces can be used to achieve design objectives.
 

Reflected Façades

Cognitive science research in urban and other settings regularly shows that people are people no matter where they are and that they respond in consistent ways to the worlds around themselves. This article highlights findings from urban design studies that illustrate fundamental design principles that improve people’s lives, anyplace.
 

TheGlasshouse

Designed and natural spaces can inspire awe in humans.  How do they produce this effect and why does it matter?  Applying insights gained from social science research to answer these questions enhances design practice.
 

How we sense and make sense of the environment around us—and how our brains work with information, in general—can vary based on where we are on Earth.  We discuss Equator-relative, design-related variations in thoughts and behaviors in this article.

PlaceCoach News Briefs

SpacesAmsterdam

Findings that prevent crowding
 

ChurchWindow

Build in exploration

Quantifying the effects of applying basic principles

What's on the walls matters

The right answer depends on location

Research to inform design that supports rehabilitation

Practical. Relevant. Free.

Varying user experiences can be appropriate

Book Reviews

BarghBook

Makes unconscious forces conscious considerations

A crucial guide to an important tool

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.