Sun and colleagues studied the experiences of pregnant people in green spaces. They had “pregnant women between 8 and 14 weeks’ gestational age . . . view one of three, 5-min, VR [virtual reality] videos of an urban scene with different green space levels (i.e., non-green, moderate, and high) after a laboratory stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test. . . . We found that visual exposure to a green space environment in VR was associated with both physiological and affective [mood] stress reduction among pregnant women, including lower systolic blood pressure . . .
Sadek and Willis investigated how the design of oncology centers influences patient experiences by interviewing patients and former patients. During the course of their research they “examine[d] key aspects of built environment that shape the experience of patients undergoing intravenous anti-cancer treatment within outpatient settings. . . . four themes highlighting the main contributions of contemporary healthcare design to patients’ experiences were synthesized.
Motoki and co-workers analyzed the impressions created by the sound of brand names. They learned that “Phonetic elements of brand names can convey a range of specific meanings. . . . The presence of higher-frequency sounds (front vowels, fricative, and voiceless consonants) in brand names tends to be associated with concepts linked to higher evaluation and lower potency, whereas lower-frequency sounds (back vowels, stop, and voiced consonants) tend to be more strongly associated with concepts linked to lower evaluation and higher potency.”
Mendoza and colleagues studied links between urban design and suicide mortality. They report that “Surrounding greenness was measured using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) within a 300 m and 1,000 m buffer around the residential address at baseline. . . . We observed a 7% . . . and 6% . . . risk reduction of suicide mortality for an . . . increase in residential surrounding greenness for buffers of 300 m and 1,000 m, respectively. . . .
Orcun and Desmet studied how design can support wellbeing via a case study conducted during the pandemic with young adults and produced a related toolkit which they named “Unravel.” The researchers report that “The current project adopted a humanistic perspective, which starts from the idea that all people have a natural drive for personal growth, and that the ultimate goal of living is to realize one’s full potential—to be all one can fully be (see, Tay & Diener, 2011).
Chu, Tok, Zhou, and Chen found that the typeface used in a charitable appeal advertisement influences the effectiveness of that appeal. They share that “We propose that the typeface's simulation of a handwritten note creates a sense of connectedness to the information sender (e.g., organization, brand), which subsequently increases consumers' willingness to engage in the advertised charitable activities. Six experiments, including laboratory and field studies, provide support for the typeface effect and . . .
Research by Pfeiffer, Sundar, and Cao indicates links between language used and the effectiveness of charitable appeals; it is possible that their findings can be extended to design’s effects on appeals experienced. The investigators report that “Charitable appeals generally address relatively serious topics. Since formal language style is more context congruent in communicating this seriousness, it should be more effective in expressing the emotional arousal or the effort of the communicator, which we expected to result in greater charitable support. . . .
Spence and teammates studied how what food looks like influences its appeal. They report that “In recent years, a growing number of academic researchers, as well as many marketing and design practitioners, have uncovered a variety of factors that would appear to enhance the visual attractiveness, or deliciousness, of food images to the typical consumer.
Stone-Ferrier studied paintings depicting 17th-century Dutch neighborhoods and her findings highlight how art can convey important social information. A press release related to Stone-Ferrier’s work reports that “The importance of knowing what’s going on in your neighborhood and upholding its honor is at least as old as comparable societal expectations in 17th-century Netherlands, according to a new book by a University of Kansas art historian.
Cox and colleagues’ recently published research on constancies found in baby talk regardless of language being spoken raises interesting questions about cross cultural sound experiences. The researchers share that “When speaking to infants, adults often produce speech that differs systematically from that directed to other adults. To quantify the acoustic properties of this speech style across a wide variety of languages and cultures, we extracted results from empirical studies on the acoustic features of infant-directed speech.