Plants

Nature IN Classrooms (10-16-20)

Van den Bogerd and colleagues studied the effects of having plants in a university and secondary school classrooms.  They report that after students attended one lecture in a classroom with plants in it that “Perceived environmental quality of classrooms with (rather than without) indoor nature was consistently rated more favourably. Secondary education students also reported greater attention, lecture evaluation, and teacher evaluation after one lecture in classrooms with indoor nature compared to the classroom without.”

High Speed Green (08-07-20)

Jiang, He, Chen, Larsen, and Wang evaluated how driving on a freeway through various sorts of urban environments influences driver experience.  They found via 90-minute simulations of environments through which study participants “drove” at the legal speed limit (70–120 km/hour) that: “The summarized mental status measure is the average value of the seven measures of negative mental status (boredom, anger, frustration, tension, anxiety, avoidance, mental fatigue). . . . the tree-regularcondition evoked significantly lower levels of negative mental status than all other conditions.

Plant Consciousness (07-21-20)

A hot topic in the psych world is whether plants have some sort of consciousness;  whether they do or not may not have design related consequences, but who knows for sure?  In a recent article, Castiello, for example, states “Up until the middle of the 19th century, some data about plant behavior could be found in books dealing with comparative psychology. The tendency gradually faded away, and the topic was almost exclusively treated in literature dealing with plant physiology.

The Value of Natural Things

The cognitive science research is clear – using natural elements (for example, materials, sounds, light, plants, fresh air, and water) in interior spaces has positive consequences for how people think and behave.  What scientists have learned about nature-based experiences can inform design that enhances wellbeing and cognitive performance and  encourages worthwhile life experiences. 
 

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