Latest Blog Posts
Welcome to the Research Design Connections blog, started in 2007. Recent blog entries are available here. Earlier blog entries (one for every working day since the beginning of May, 2007) are available to subscribers.
Candido, Chakraborty, and Tjondronegoro investigated how office design influences user perceptions of their performance, health, and comfort. The researchers found via a post-occupancy evaluation program (nearly 9,000 completed surveys) of offices in Australia that “For open-plan offices, the best-performing features for predicting perceived productivity were . . . amount of interruption, work area aesthetics, degree of adaptation of the work area, furnishing, overall amount of noise, cleanliness, and personal control over lighting. Furnishing, work area connection to outdoors, building aesthetics, sound privacy, and degree of adaptation of the work area were the critical predictors of health. As for the overall comfort of the work area, . . . key predictors [were] work area aesthetics, degree of adaptation of the work area, furnishing, overall air quality, cleanliness, and amount of interruption. . . . [in]high-performance. . . . offices . . . Pods of all sizes were . . . prominent . . . and had walls with textured elements and/or plants, promoting visual integration but some privacy at the same time. . . . layouts privileged workers’ access to daylight and views.”
Christhina Candido, Prithwi Chakraborty, and Dian Tjondronegoro. 2019. “The Rise of Office Design in High-Performance, Open-Plan Environments.” Buildings, vol. 9, no. 4, 100, https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9040100
How does air temperature influence potential consumers willingness to pay for goods? Researchers have determined that “whereas higher (vs. moderate) temperatures elicit higher willingness to pay in auctions, they lead to a lower willingness to pay in negotiations, and temperature-induced discomfort and aggression underlie these effects.”
Jayati Sinha and Rajesh Bagchi. “Role of Ambient Temperature in Influencing Willingness to Pay in Auctions and Negotiations.” Journal of Marketing, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/0022242919841595
Gharaveis, Hamilton, Shepley, Pati, and Rodiek studied how Emergency Department design influences teamwork, communication, and security; their findings are applicable in both healthcare and other contexts. The Gharaveis-lead team reports that “By providing high accessibility and visibility, the security issues can be minimized and teamwork and communication can be enhanced. . . . Transparency in the core of the ED would improve levels of teamwork and communication. . . . design should provide visual and acoustical privacy when needed by flexibility in design. . . . Observation and supervision are important strategies to promote security. Psychiatric patients should have high visibility from/to staff. . . . EDs with efficient layouts (in terms of visibility, flexibility and accessibility), appropriate size of different locations, private spaces and lower levels of background noise provide opportunities to have higher values of teamwork and communication. The data of this study also suggest that ED security would be enhanced through unit configuration to provide visibility, connectivity to all locations, entrance observation, specific locations for psychiatric patients and security personnel close accommodation.”
Arsalan Gharaveis, D. Hamilton, Mardelle Shepley, Debajyoti Pati, and Susan Rodiek. “Design Suggestions for Greater Teamwork, Communication and Security in Hospital Emergency Departments.” Indoor and Built Environment, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/1420326X19836209
Bodin Danielsson reports on the context of work. She shares that “the experience of office architecture, similar to other architectural experiences, is a holistic experience created by the combined effect of the physical characteristics of the environment and the functional feature of office work. . . . . three separate studies. . . . all indicate that personal control is a key factor for high employee satisfaction and that different factors can enable this using different means.”
Christina Bodin Danielsson. 2019. “The Office Architecture: A Contextual Experinece with Influences at the Individual and Group Level.” In Herbert Meiselman (ed.), Context: The Effects of Environment on Product Design and Evaluation, Woodhead Publishing: Cambridge, MA, pp. 431-455, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-814495-4.00021-0
Karp and colleagues studied the design of primary care clinics. They probed, via multiple research tools, how “two different primary care clinic physical layouts (onstage/offstage and pod-based [PB] designs) influenced pre- and post visit team experiences and perceptions.Protocols encourage healthcare team communication before and after primary care visits to support better patient care. . . .In the onstage/offstage design, colocated teams had increased verbal communication but perceived being isolated from other clinic teams. In contrast, teams in PB clinics communicated with other clinic teams but had more informal patient contact within care-team stations that imposed privacy risk.”
Zaher Karp, Sandra Kamnetz, Natalie Wietfeldt, Christine Sinsky, Todd Molfenter, and Nancy Pandhi. “Influence of Environmental Design on Team Interactions Across Three Family Medicine Clinics: Perceptions of Communication, Efficiency, and Privacy.” HERD: Health Environments Research and Design Journal, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/1937586719834729
Al-Kodmany thoroughly investigated how tall buildings can support placemaking and developed the ten related guidelines that are noted here. Al-Kodmany’s article is available without charge at the web address provided below.
Guidelines for placemaking via tall buildings reported are:
- “Create ‘micro-urbanism’ with tall buildings that support the human scale. . . .
- Create ‘macro-urbanism’ to support placemaking at the larger scale of the build environment. . . .
- Respect neighboring buildings and the natural environment. . . .
- Create a visual contrast. . . .
- Employ a design that connects people to vernacular architecture. . . .
- Employ local ‘green aesthetics’. . . .
- Design a tower’s base with respect to human scale, providing visual continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces, and support socio-economic activities. . . .
- Design urban plazas and public parks. . . .
- Integrate tall buildings with multi-model, mixed use transit nodes and ensure that each node features unique perceptual characteristics at a steadily decreasing density. . . .
- Utilize new building technologies that may provide new architectural expressions and promote placemaking.”
Kheir Al-Kodmany. 2018. “Planning Guidelines for Enhancing Placemaking with Tall Buildings.” International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 5-23, http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v12i2.1493
Mostafa has written a classic article on how design can support the wellbeing of people on the autism spectrum; it is available without charge at the web address noted below. Mostafa’s text focuses on the post-occupancy evaluation of a pre-K-8thgrade school, but the insights shared are applicable in a much wider range of space types. Mostafa recommends, for example that “provisions should be made for different levels of acoustical control in various rooms, so students can ‘graduate’ from one level of acoustical control to the next, slowly moving towards a typical environment. . . . Spaces should flow . . . through one-way circulation whenever possible. . . . .the presence of transition zones helps the user recalibrate their senses. . . . Such zones can take on a variety of forms and may be anything from a distinct node that indicates a shift in circulation to a full sensory room that allows the user to re-calibrate their sensory stimulation level. . . . Specifying robust materials, safety fittings to protect from hot water, detailing fixtures to avoid small removable parts or hanging strings and an avoidance of sharp edges and corners are examples of some of the considerations that may reduce [safety] risks.”
Magda Mostafa. 2018. “Designing for Autism: An ASPECTSS ™ Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Learning Environments.” International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 308-326, http://www.archnet-ijar.net/index.php/IJAR/article/view/1589
Body position has been linked to eating experiences. Investigators share that “The results of six experiments show that vestibular sensations related to posture (i.e., sitting vs. standing) influence food taste perceptions. Specifically, standing (vs. sitting) postures induce greater physical stress on the body, which in turn decreases sensory sensitivity. As a result, when eating in a standing (vs. sitting) posture, consumers rate the taste of pleasant-tasting foods and beverages as less favorable, the temperature as less intense, and they consumer smaller amounts. The effects of posture on taste perception are reversed for unpleasant-tasting foods. . . . Given the increasing trend toward eating while standing, the findings . . . have practical implications for restaurant, retail, and other food-service environment designs."
Dipayan Biswas, Courtney Szocs, and Annika Abell. “Extending the Boundaries of Sensory Marketing and Examining the Sixth Sensory System: Effects of Vestibular Sensations for Sitting Versus Standing Postures on Food Taste Perception.” Journal of Consumer Research, in press, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucz018
A literature review conducted by a Subiza-Perez-lead team confirms that contact with natural environments is mentally refreshing. Investigators state that “Almost four decades ago, Attention Restoration Theory and Stress Recovery Theory postulated that nature could help people to recover from the attentional fatigue and the emotional negative outcomes coming from their daily performance. . . . This paper presents a descriptive review of 19 restoration pretest-posttest field studies. . . . there is a reasonable amount of evidence supporting the main premises of ART and SRT. Natural/green places can alleviate the negative affective outcomes and the attentional fatigue caused by daily performance. . . . .two studies showed that nature is not equally restorative: tended forest and natural places high in prospect and low in refuge are more restorative than their counterparts. . . . the urban settings in the sample of articles (even if not very attractive or restorative at first sight) did not always produce the expected negative cognitive-attentional and affective outcomes in the people visiting them.”
Mikel Subiza-Perez, Laura Vozmediano, and Cesar San Juan. 2019. “Pretest-Posttest Field Studies on Psychological Restoration: A Descriptive Review and Reflections for the Future.” Landscape Research, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 493-505, https://doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2018.1493443