Enhance Experience

Decluttering with Images (07-12-17)

Recent research indicates that it’s easier for people to discard “cluttering” objects after they photograph them.  Reczek, Winterich, and Irwin “found that people were more willing to give away unneeded goods that still had sentimental value if they were encouraged to take a photo of these items first. . . . ‘What people really don’t want to give up is the memories associated with the item,’ said Rebecca Reczek  . . . . ‘We found that people are more willing to give up these possessions if we offer them a way to keep the memory and the identity associated with that memory.’ . . .

Microbes! (06-30-17)

Environmental microbes, and how they influence how we think and behave, were a hot topic of discussion at NeoCon this year.  A 2016 article in Building and Environment, whose text is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132316303419 , shares important insights on these topics.

Adams and her team report that “Buildings represent habitats for microorganisms that can have direct or indirect effects on the quality of our living spaces, health, and well-being.”

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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