Blending biology, psychology, sociology, and design
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.’ . . .
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 collecti
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.”
New research confirms the desirable effects of parks on wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A press release from Drexel, discussing a study published in the Journal of Extreme Events (written by Montalto, Alizadehtazi, Tangtrakul, Woerdeman, Gussenhoven, and Mostafavi) reports that “Parks played an important role for people seeking respite from the toll of social isolation during the pandemic, and according to new research from Drexel University, they did so without increasing the spread of COVID-19.
Walshe and Moula confirm that children (age 7 and 8) link nature to positive experiences; the Walshe/Moula study is published in Child Indicators Research. The research duo determined that “Young children in deprived areas see nature and outdoor spaces as being associated with “happy places”. . . . [the researchers asked study participants] to draw their happy place. . . . More than half of the children created drawings that included aspects of nature and outdoor spaces, such as trees, grass, parks, gardens, lakes, rivers, outdoor playgrounds, rainbows or sunlight.
Choudhury has integrated findings from his and other’s working from anywhere-related research to detail emerging best practices; his article is available without charge at the web address noted below. Choudhury’s material is useful to anyone developing a working from anywhere program or looking for insights into environments that support working from anywhere. As Choudhury states in the overview for his article, “The pandemic has hastened a rise in remote working for knowledge-based organizations.
Vink and colleagues have thoroughly studied how physical comfort is evaluated in different countries. They report that “A questionnaire was sent to participants out in nine countries (Brazil, Canada, the USA, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands). . . . All countries score the comfort of a luxurious bed higher than a simple bed, first-class seats higher than economy class and all countries rate the comfort lower when the duration of sitting increases.
Devlin and colleagues evaluated how classroom images seen by prospective college students influence their opinions of colleges and universities. Their findings are likely applicable both in this context and others. The Devlin-lead team found that when “participants read a scenario about a college too far away to visit and viewed a website picture of a seminar room (unrenovated or renovated) before responding to measures of classroom satisfaction and college academic life more broadly (e.g., student retention).. . . . Classroom status . . .
Learning is a complicated operation for our brains—design can ease the process, however, whether you're studying at an elementary school or in a corporate learning suite. Applying what neuroscientists know about how design can support learning makes it a more productive and positive experience—even when recess is not an option.