Peck and teammates found that listening to music may not help people feel less stressed in the sorts of situations that are often encountered in daily life, for example, while at work. The researchers report that “Music listening [has been] shown to promote faster physiological recovery following acute stress. . . . It was hypothesized that listening to music prior to acute stress exposure would decrease stress reactivity compared with white noise (WN), and that self-selected music would serve as a stronger inoculator than researcher-selected music. Participants . . .
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.’ . . .
Recently released research confirms the value of design that encourages movement. Evenson, Shiroma, Howard, Cuthbertson, Buring, and Lee found that “Taking more steps per day, either all at once or in shorter spurts, may help you live longer. . . . researchers used a wearable step counting device to compare the effects of uninterrupted bouts of steps (10 minutes or longer) to occasional short spurts, such as climbing the stairs and general daily activities throughout the day [such as housework]. . .
The Moran-lead team links at-work greenspace and positive health outcomes, even for prison employees. The researchers determined that “prisons with a higher proportion of natural vegetation within their perimeter have lower levels of staff sickness absence. . . . Econometric estimations presented in the paper confirm lower levels of staff sick-leave in prisons with more greenspace.
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.”
Koo and teammates researched how design can enhance walkability. They share that “The built environment characteristics associated with walkability range from neighborhood-level urban form factors to street-level urban design factors. . . . . This paper uses computer vision to quantify street-level factors from street view images in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Correlation analysis shows that some streetscape factors are highly correlated with neighborhood-level factors. . .
A study published in the Journal of Marketing, written by Keh, Wang, and Yan, reports on effective retail display design; its findings are likely applicable more generally by retail designers. The Keh-lead team shares that “Imaginative displays are constructed using multiple units of the same product in a novel, yet aesthetically appealing, form. . . . relative to standard displays (i.e., non-novel and neutral aesthetics), imaginative displays can increase customers’ purchase intention, actual purchases, product sales, and ROI. . . .
Architectural researchers have found that when robots doing utilitarian tasks, such as removing garbage or moving equipment, talk and, specifically, when they speak with the local accent of wherever they are, that people who see and hear them at work may be more accepting of new technologies in their lives. The robots with the local accents studied were boxy, they did not have human-like forms.
Casiraghi and colleagues’ work indicates how tightly the experiences of all humans are tied to stimuli in the natural world. The researchers used “wrist actimetry to show a clear synchronization of nocturnal sleep timing with the lunar cycle in participants living in environments that range from a rural setting with and without access to electricity in indigenous Toba/Qom communities in Argentina to a highly urbanized postindustrial setting in the United States. Our results show that sleep starts later and is shorter on the nights before the full moon when moonlight is available during th