Abeyta, Routledge, and Kaslon’s work indicates how design may be used to counter loneliness, to some extent. The team found that “Loneliness is difficult to overcome, in part because it is associated with negative social cognitions and social motivations. We argue that nostalgia, a positive emotional experience that involves reflecting on cherished memories, is a psychological resource that regulates these maladaptive intrapsychic tendencies associated with loneliness. . . .
Improve Mood/Increase Feelings of Wellbeing
Researchers investigated how green spaces (public parks) influence the wellbeing of city-dwellers; findings are published in the Journal of Public Space. The Sahakian-lead group evaluated data collected in Chennai, Singapore, Manila, and Shanghai and report that their project “was based on a list of nine ‘protected needs’ that society has the capacity to meet. . . . parks fulfill almost all these needs to varying degrees, with three in particular standing out. . . . parks play an essential role in the well-being of individuals . .
Positive, relaxing, distracting scenes
Song and Gao investigated how wellbeing is influenced by telework; their findings will interest people developing and managing workplaces. Specifically, Song and Gao probed “how subjective well-being varies among wage/salary workers between working at home and working in the workplace. . . . We find that compared to working in the workplace, bringing work home on weekdays is associated with less happiness, and telework on weekdays or weekends/holidays is associated with more stress. The effect of working at home on subjective well-being also varies by parental status and gender.
Sando and Sandseter evaluated how the design of outdoor spaces at early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions influences children’s (3-4 year old’s) wellbeing (feeling at ease and self-confident, for example) and health (via physical activity). They collected data at 8 ECEC institutions ranging from “small urban environments with mainly asphalt and rubber surface to large (13 000 square meters) natural environments.” The researchers report that “The importance of promoting a wide range of play activities is demonstrated by the finding that many episodes happened within a symbo
Researchers have determined that at-work email interruptions degrade emotional state; it is reasonable to extend their findings to other disruptions experienced. Pavlidis, Mark, and Gutierrez-Osuna found that “constant interruptions can actually create sadness and fear and eventually, a tense working environment. . . ‘Individuals who engaged in multitasking appeared significantly sadder than those who did not. Interestingly, sadness tended to mix with a touch of fear in the multitasking cohort,’ Pavlidis said. . . .
Research by Ambrose and colleagues confirms the psychological benefits of gardening and supports the allocation of space to it. The investigators studied data collected in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area: “five measures of EWB [emotional wellbeing] were computed for each participant for each activity type [while doing that activity]: average net affect, average happiness, average meaningfulness, the frequency of experiencing peak positive emotions (happiness and meaningfulness).
Clements and colleagues studied the implications of having aquariums present in a space, either live or on video. After a literature review they report that “Nineteen studies were included [in their analysis]. Two provided tentative evidence that keeping home aquaria is associated with relaxation. The remaining studies involved novel interactions with fish in home or public aquariums.
Neuroscience-informed workplace design increases the likelihood that users are happy, healthy, we