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Chinazzo and colleagues confirm links previously noted between colors seen and perceived temperature. The researchers report that participants in their study experienced “three colored [window] glazing (orange/blue/neutral). . . . Daylight color significantly affected thermal perception. . . the orange daylight led to warmer thermal perception in (close-to-) comfortable temperatures, resulting in a color-induced thermal perceptionand indicating that orange glazing should be used with caution in a slightly warm environment.  Findings can be applied to the design of buildings using new glazing technologies with saturated colors, such as transparent photovoltaics.”

Giorgia Chinazzo, Kynthia Chamilothori, Jan Wienold, and Marilyne Andersen.  2021.  “Temperature-Color Interaction:  Subjective Indoor Environmental Perception and Physiological Responses in Virtual Reality.”  Human Factors, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 474-502, https:///doi.org/10.1177/0018720819892383

Recently completed research confirms that green building is good for more than just the planet. Nurick and Thatcher conducted an extensive literature review and report that studies published “link[s] GBFIs [green building features and initiatives in office buildings] to increased individual productivity and organizational performance which results in increased building value, thus justifying the initial capital expenditure for the implementation of GBFIs.”

Saul Nurick and Andrew Thatcher.  “The Relationship of Green Office Buildings to Occupant Productivity and Organizational Performance:  A Literature Review.”  Journal of Real Estate Literature, in press, https://doi.org/10.1080/09277544.2021.1909316

Otterbring and colleagues researched the implications of the physical distances between salespeople and customers.  Design can influence the distance between the people selling and potentially buying goods in a number of ways, for example, via sales/display counter/case dimensions and aisle width.  The Otterbring-lead team found via a series of lab and field studies that “store loyalty, purchase intentions, and actual spending behavior are negatively impacted when consumers encounter a salesperson who is standing close by (vs. farther away), particularly in expressive consumption contexts. . . . even intermediate levels of proximity can produce negative consumer responses compared to farther interpersonal distances in expressive consumption settings. . . . this effect specifically emerges when consumers are thinking about products in terms of their ability to express their identities, not when the products' functional features are highlighted.. . . . our findings suggest that the most positive consumer responses occur in the largely overlooked public zone, even compared to the more common social zone in which most interactions with salespeople take place. . . . our medium distance falls within the social zone (4–12 feet), and our far distance belongs to the public zone (beyond 12 feet).”

Tobias Otterbring, Freeman Wu, and Per Kristensson. “Too Close for Comfort?  The Impact of Salesperson-Customer Proximity on Consumers’ Purchase Behavior.”  Psychology of Marketing, in press, https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21519

Bourikas and colleagues report interesting relationships between perceptions of various aspects of office environments.  Their work indicates that “bad air quality is generally associated with a ‘warm’ thermal sensation response. . . .  air quality . . . and noise perception (NSV) are both correlated with thermal perception (TSV). . . . Air quality perception was correlated with both TSV  and NSV.. . . participants who were feeling uncomfortable (in particular if feeling warm and preferring to be cooler) perceived the air-quality worse than participants who felt comfortable.”

Leonidas Bourikas, Stephanie Gauthier, Nicholas Eng, and Peiyao Xiong.  2021.  “Effect of Thermal, Acoustic and Air Quality Perception Interactions on the Comfort and Satisfaction of People in Office Buildings.”  Energies, vol. 14, no. 2, 333, https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020333

Peck and teammates found that listening to music may not help people feel less stressed in the sorts of situations that are often encountered in daily life, for example, while at work. The researchers report that “Music listening [has been] shown to promote faster physiological recovery following acute stress. . . .  It was hypothesized that listening to music prior to acute stress exposure would decrease stress reactivity compared with white noise (WN), and that self-selected music would serve as a stronger inoculator than researcher-selected music. Participants . . . were randomly assigned to either researcher-selected music . . . self-selected music . . . or a WN group . . . and listened to either music or WN prior to undergoing the Trier Social Stress Test, a standardized psychosocial stress protocol. Outcome indices of stress included skin conductance, heart rate, salivary cortisol, and self-report affect. Analyses failed to show a significant inoculation effect of music on the stress response.”

Katlyn Peck, Julia de Zepetnek, and Alexandra Fiocco.  2021. “Music Listening Does Not Inoculate the Stress Response in Young and Older Adults.”  International Journal of Stress Management, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 154-164, https://doi.org/10.1037/str0000217

Kim, Affonso, Laran, and Durante, in a study published in the Journal of Marketing, report on the benefits of serendipitous experiences. The researchers found that “When a product, service, or experience is positive, unexpected, and involving chance, our research team reasoned that this would generate congruent feelings. Consumers would feel that the encounter was a good surprise, make attributions to chance, and feel lucky that it happened—which we collectively call ‘feelings of serendipity.’  . . . Across multiple consumer domains (online subscription services, museums, movies, food consumption, and music), creating serendipity through positive, unexpected, chance encounters increased satisfaction, enjoyment, perceptions of meaningfulness, willingness to pay, willingness to recommend a service, and interest. . . . A negative encounter that was unexpected and attributed to chance was perceived to be even more negative.”

“Press Release from the Journal of Marketing:  Delivering Serendipity:  When Chance Encounters in the Marketplace Enhance Consumer Satisfaction.” 2021.  Press release, American Marketing Association, https://www.ama.org/2021/05/24/press-release-from-the-journal-of-marketi...

Recently released research confirms the value of design that encourages movement.  Evenson, Shiroma, Howard, Cuthbertson, Buring, and Lee found that “Taking more steps per day, either all at once or in shorter spurts, may help you live longer. . . . researchers used a wearable step counting device to compare the effects of uninterrupted bouts of steps (10 minutes or longer) to occasional short spurts, such as climbing the stairs and general daily activities throughout the day [such as housework]. . . Study participants who took more steps in short spurts lived longer, regardless of how many steps they had in longer, uninterrupted bouts. The benefits leveled off at about 4,500 steps per day in short spurts.  Compared to no daily steps, each initial increase of 1,000 steps per day was associated with a 28% decrease in death during the follow-up period. A 32% decrease in death was noted in participants who took more than 2,000 steps daily in uninterrupted bouts.”  All study participants were women over the age of 60.

“Taking More Steps Daily May Lead to a Longer Life.”  2021. Press release, American Heart Association, https://newsroom.heart.org/news/taking-more-steps-daily-may-lead-to-a-lo...

The Moran-lead team links at-work greenspace and positive health outcomes, even for prison employees.  The researchers determined that “prisons with a higher proportion of natural vegetation within their perimeter have lower levels of staff sickness absence. . . . Econometric estimations presented in the paper confirm lower levels of staff sick-leave in prisons with more greenspace. This relationship persists when we control for [statistically remove the effects of] prison size, security level, age, level of crowding, levels of self-harm and violence among prisoners, and assaults against staff. The findings are significant in demonstrating the benefits of nature contact in workplaces in general.”

Dominique Moran, Phil Jones, Jacob Jordaan, and Amy Porter.  “Nature Contact in the Carceral Workplace:  Greenspace and Staff Sickness Absence in Prisons in England and Wales.” Environment and Behavior, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/00139165211014618

Bakker’s practical text delves into the effects of technology on built environments and the practice of architecture.  In his Preface Bakker shares that his “book explores how technology is transforming architecture, and what this means for architects.  From smart materials and 3D printing to bricklaying robots and data-driven design, the following chapters trace the seismic shifts in the way that architecture is both conceived and created, and how this hotbed of innovation is delivering (some of) the promises of improved communication, flexibility, wellbeing, productivity and data collection. . . . This book describes – and illustrates, using selected case studies – the ways in which architects and urban designers can adopt the smart use of materials, geometries and digital technologies to improve their products, while making sure that they stay closely connected to society as a whole, and mindful of the enormous responsibilities they carry for the health of humankind and the liveability of our home planet.”

Ron Bakker. 2020.  Smart Buildings:  Technology and the Design of the Built Environment.  RIBA Publishing; London.

Research into during-pandemic experiences continues to be published.  Cavazza and colleagues, reporting on data collected in Italy, share that “COVID-19 lockdown measures forced people to stay indoors 24/7s. . . . .  household crowding during the lockdown was positively associated with support for anti-democratic political systems. . . .  These associations did not depend on participants’ pre-pandemic socio-economic status and predisposition to strong political leaders.”

Nicoletta Cavazza, Silvia Russo Pasquale Colloca, and Michele Roccato. “Household Crowding Can Have Political Effects:  An Empirical Study on Support for Anti-Democratic Political Systems During the COVID-19 Lockdown in Italy.”  Journal of Environemntal Psychology, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101628

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