Enhance Experience

COVID Coping and Home Design (09-27-21)

Chesterman, de Pattista, and Causse evaluated the during-lockdown experiences of people living in France.  They found that “Household affordances were found to be a positive factor of lockdown coping and resilience. . . . larger residences are positively related to resilience, and suggests that household affordances such as private areas, space to practice a physical activity, access to outdoors, adequate workspace, and proximity to healthcare services (…), are integral to coping with lockdown and building resilience. . . . .

“Metallic” Experiences (09-17-21)

Spence, Carvalho, and Howes studied sensory experiences categorized as “metallic.” They report that “Many metallic visual stimuli, especially the so-called precious metals, have long had a rich symbolic meaning for humans. Intriguingly, however, while metallic is used to describe sensations associated with pretty much every sensory modality, the descriptor is normally positively valenced in the case of vision. . . .

Post-COVID Design  (09-16-21)

Shepley, Kolakowski, Ziebarth, and Valenzuela-Mendoza assessed how the COVID-19 pandemic will influence the design health, hospitality, and senior care environments. They share that “An extensive literature review was conducted, the results of which were distributed to a group of experts . . . specializing in health, hospitality and design. After receiving their input, expert focus groups were conducted. . . . Healthcare facilities will require additional space, access to the outdoors, service hubs, and flexibility in garage and use of outdoor space.

Room Acoustics (09-15-21)

Researchers continue to investigate the psychological implications of acoustic experiences.  A team lead by Sierra-Polanco reports that “Three independent room acoustic parameters were considered: gain (alteration of the sidetone or playback of one’s own voice), reverberation time, and background noise. An increase in the sidetone led to a decrease in vocal sound pressure levels, thus increasing vocal comfort and vocal control. This effect was consistent in the different reverberation times considered.

Sound and Remote Work (09-08-21)

Puglisi and colleagues studied the experiences of people working remotely and it seems likely that their findings can be applied more generally.  The researchers report that data they collected via surveys completed by remote workers “show that 55% of the workers perform their activity in an isolated room of the home environment, 43% in a shared room (e.g., kitchen, living room), and 2% in an outdoor space, with the majority of workers (57%) performing activity without other people in the environment. . . .

Personal Spaces and Masks (09-07-21)

Lee and Chen’s work indicates that face masks may influence distances people keep from each other.  Lee and Chen report that via data collected through an online survey they found that “A smaller IPS [interpersonal space] was observed when participants faced confederates wearing surgical masks than in the no-mask condition. Female dyads tended to maintain a smaller IPS than did both male and mixed-sex dyads, and Taiwanese participants maintained a significantly larger IPS than did Mainland Chinese participants. . . .


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