Lipovac and Burnard review published research related to looking at wood (physical or virtual indoor interactions with real or imitation wood) and reach the conclusion that “Studies with longer exposure times to wood generally observed improved affective states [moods] and decreased physiological arousal in wooden settings. . . . Current evidence suggests that visual wood exposure may improve certain indicators of human stress. . . . Current research suggests that visual wood exposure could lead to beneficial outcomes, but the evidence is limited. . .
Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress
Mental health-design links
Triugakos, Chawla, and McCarthy evaluated stress levels among employees during the pandemic and the effects of hand washing on those stress levels. They determined that “there is little understanding of how COVID-19 health anxiety(CovH anxiety)—that is, feelings of fear and apprehension about having or contracting COVID-19—impacts critical work, home, and health outcomes. . . .
Researchers have determined that children as young as 3 respond positively to seeing fractal patterns, just as adults do. Robles, Taylor, Sereno, Liaw, and Baldwin found that “Before their third birthdays, children already have an adult-like preference for visual fractal patterns commonly seen in nature. . . . We found that people [both adults and children] prefer the most common natural pattern, the statistical fractal patterns of low-moderate complexity . . . ’ Robles said. . .
Strong study, important insights
Salvador, in the course of a furniture design project, completed a literature review focused on the psychological implications of experiencing wooden materials. He reports that “A literary review based study revealed woodenmaterials in interiors and objects to have a positive psychological influence in humans, with a pacifying and relaxing effect.”
Wang and Zhao evaluated how the presence or absence of evergreen trees influences environmental preferences and psychological restoration. They report that “Evergreen plants can mediate landscape changes across seasons and increase greenness when deciduous trees are leafless. . . . this study conducted an experiment, in which, based on four photographs taken on a site in four seasons, 24 images were created using the photomontage technique by adding evergreen trees to the original pictures.
The Transdisciplinary Workplace Research Network met September 16-19 in Frankfurt Germany. A number of timely, compelling, applicable sets of research findings were presented; that material is shared here.
Meagher and Cheadle researched links between mental health and home design during the COID-19 outbreak. They determined that people who were attached to their homes are less stressed and anxious. As the researchers report, “Many people are spending more time in their homes due to work from home arrangements, stay at home orders, and closures of businesses and public gathering spaces. . . . we explored how one’s attachment to their home may help to buffer their mental health during this stressful time. Data were collected from a three-wave . . . sampling. . . .
Ko and colleagues evaluated how windows influence space user experiences. They report that they “assessed the influence of having a window with a view [of nature] on thermal and emotional responses as well as on cognitive performance. . . . The chamber kept the air and window surface temperature at 28 °C, a slightly warm condition. . . . In the space with versus without windows, the thermal sensation was significantly cooler ( . . . equivalent to 0.74 °C lower), and 12% more participants were thermally comfortable.