Enhance Experience

Designing for Dining

The design of restaurants and other places people dine away from home has a significant effect on how their patrons think and behave—and on what their owners earn.  Design can encourage positive experiences for restaurant customers and managers.  A special focus of this article is designing to promote healthy eating.

Housing and Child Mental Health (06-21-22)

Nasim evaluated links between living conditions and children’s mental health.  The investigator reports that their “study explored the role of housing (and neighbourhood) quality in explaining differences in childhood mental and physical health between those living in social-rented flats and houses. . . . Evidence is found that poorer housing quality explained over 50% of the deficit in the mental health of children in flats compared with houses in the social-rented sector.

Fitting Into Activity-Based Working (06-17-22)

Hoendervanger’s multi-method dissertation probes who can most effectively use activity-based workplaces (ABW).  He shares that “a clear profile arises of workers who best fit with ABW environments, i.e.: high task variety, job autonomy, external and internal mobility, social interaction . . . low need for privacy; few high-complexity tasks, many non-individual tasks; appropriately using open and closed work settings; frequently switching between work settings; relatively young age.

Homes as Products (06-14-22)

Grant and Handelman study the evolving role of houses.  They report that “Traditionally, the home is regarded as a place of singularization that is to be aligned with the homeowner’s unique identity. This traditional meaning has come to be confronted with a contradictory understanding of the home as a marketplace asset. Homeowners come to experience a market-reflected gaze that shuns singularization while driving homeowners to exhibit expertise in aligning their homes with marketplace standards.

Pediatric Healthcare Design (06-02-22)

Steelcase conducted a pediatric healthcare-related literature review and developed design principles that can be used in a variety of spaces, from waiting areas to exam rooms.  Via the literature review, Steelcase determined that in pediatric healthcare settings “engaging young patients in their surrounding environment can help minimize anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Exploration provides choices, and choices provide a sense of control. . . . Children need movement and sensory experiences to reduce stress. . . .

Changing Places

Now that the world is starting to return to its pre-2020 routines (and establish new ones, as needed), how should design evolve to reflect neuroscience research conducted during the pandemic and pre-COVID-19 studies that continue to be relevant?


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