Sadik and Kamardeen researched the professional implications of experiencing indoor nature (for example, inside plants, window views, pre-recorded nature sounds) and outdoor nature. They determined via a literature review that “indoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to social sustainability through its impact on workers' health and motivation while outdoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to economic, environmental and social sustainability through its impact on workers' restoration, stress reduction and stress coping.
Weingarten and Goodman’s research provides more nuanced insights into experiential consumption. They report that “A wealth of consumer research has proposed an experiential advantage: consumers yield greater happiness from purchasing experiences compared to material possessions. . . . the authors develop a model of consumer happiness and well-being based on psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, relatedness [need to feel social bonds to other humans], self-esteem, and meaningfulness), and conduct an experiential advantage meta-analysis to test this model. . .
Barhorst and colleagues evaluated how use of augmented reality (AR) by retailors influences shopping experiences. They determined that when “a commercially available AR app was utilized to conduct [online research]. . . . [that] AR vividness, AR interactivity, and AR novelty, are all key contributors to the immersive state of flow. . . . The results of this research indicate a more significant state of flow with AR in comparison to a regular shopping experience. . . .
Research by Weiss and Merlo confirms the value of designing spaces to support particular moods. The Weiss-Merlo team reports, that “affective [emotional] states influence work performance by impacting the attentional resources dedicated to the task. . . . When people fully engage their attention on the task, performance is optimized. . . . negative affective states negatively influence concurrent . . . performance through attentional misallocation. . . . positive affective states can enhance attentional focus and . . . performance.”
Cupchik’s analysis supports efforts to provide users with moderate visual complexity. As he reports “Experimental aesthetics was founded in 1867 by Gustav Fechner and reinvigorated by Daniel Berlyne in 1974. . . . Berlyne used enhanced stimulus control and behavioral techniques to support Fechner’s idea that people prefer moderate levels of complexity.”
A research team headed by Hollander studied how we look at neighborhoods/cities. They conducted a study during which participants “looked at different scenes of New York City public buildings in a set up with an eye tracker in front of a monitor displaying images. Half of the images had design characteristics exemplary of traditional neighborhood design (TND) (like narrow streets, complex facades, and bilateral symmetry). Subjects tended to show greater eye fixation on building fenestration [openings in building envelope] in TND environments, as opposed to the non-TND environments.”
Research continues to detail the many, nuanced implications of seeing the color red. Pontes and Hoegg report that “Three studies demonstrate a red-derogation effect for married women’s judgments such that men are perceived to be less attractive and less sexually desirable when their profiles are displayed on a red versus a white background. We show that married (vs. single) women perceive the color red as a threat cue which, in turn, evokes avoidance tendencies. Our studies indicated that married (vs. single) women became more risk averse . . .
A research team lead by Battal confirms that individuals with atypical sensory capabilities may process stimuli differently. The investigators studied “auditory-localization abilities in 17 congenitally blind and 17 sighted individuals using a psychophysical minimum-audible-angle task that lacked sensorimotor confounds. Participants were asked to compare the relative position of two sound sources located in central and peripheral, horizontal and vertical, or frontal and rear spaces.
The uncanny valley phenomenon has been studied for many years. In a recent study, Wang, Cheong, Dilks, and Rochat report that “Human replicas highly resembling people tend to elicit eerie sensations—a phenomenon known as the uncanny valley. . . . [the Wang team’s] findings link perceived uncanniness in androids [robots with human type features] to the temporal dynamics of face animacy [how “alive” it seems to be] perception.” The uncanny valley effect arises when a machine appears nearly lifelike but not exactly the same as a true human.
The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer is making available, at the web address noted below, an information-packed video that will be useful both to people designing lightscapes and also to anyone working from home. At the source website, the LRC shares that it “has released a new video on how to maintain good sleep while working from home, or quarantining indoors, which is becoming more commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic.