design research

Desirable Temperatures (03-11-20)

Nakano and Tanabe studied reactions to air temperature in urban semi-outdoor environments, such as atria, terraces, and sidewalk eating areas.  They determined that “Clothing adjustments showed higher correlation with outdoor temperature, not the immediate environment. Occupants in non-HVAC spaces were more responsive to their environment. . . . The comfort zone . . . was found to be 19 - 30°C for HVAC spaces and 15 - 32°C for non-HVAC spaces."

Mechanics of Attention Restoration (03-10-20)

Chen, He, and Yu investigated the brain mechanics underlying attention restoration.  They had study participants spend 20 minutes wearing a cap that collected information about brain activity in a “restorative (wooded garden [by a pond]) or a nonrestorative (traffic island [in a heavily trafficked road]) environment. . . . the perceived coherence of the restorative environment may induce fatigue recovery and, hence, attention restoration via alpha-theta oscillations and synchronization.

New Urbanism and Health (03-09-20)

Iravani and Rao looked at links between New Urbanist design and health.  They specifically studied  “how the 10 New Urbanism principles produce outcomes that affect public health. The outcomes include: (1) higher usage of non-motorized and public transit modes, which results in more physical activity; (2) lower usage of private automobiles, which results in less air pollution; (3) safer streets, which results in fewer traffic accidents; and (4) complete community planning for residents, regardless of income, age or ideas, which results in better access to health resources.

Saving Energy in Offices (03-06-20)

Xu, Chen, Li and Menassa investigated environmentally responsible behavior in offices.  They determined that “while injunctive norms are an important predictor of behavioral intention for single-person offices, descriptive norms are an important one for shared offices. . . . perceived control over energy-saving and perceived ease of access to building control features have no direct impacts on energy-saving behaviors in single-person offices, while they have impacts on energy-saving behaviors in shared offices. . .

Virtual Reality, Physical Stores (03-05-20)

Pizzi and colleagues investigated the implications of experiencing retail environments physically and virtually.  They determined that “Whereas previous research demonstrated the importance of consumers' hedonic [pleasure-related] and utilitarian shopping orientations in traditional channels, this study examines the potential of a VR store to elicit hedonism and utilitarianism. . . . . Participants were exposed to the same shelf in a VR-based and a physical store. We found . . . VR elicits both utilitarianism and hedonism. . . .

In Person and Online Stores, Experiences Linked (03-03-20)

Verhagen and teammates studied links between consumer in-store experiences and those they have online.  The investigators determined that “consumer evaluations of a firm’s online store have been found to be influenced by consumer interactions with the firm’s in‐store personnel. . . . we propose hypotheses and accordingly model in‐store personnel’s competence and friendliness as determinants of online store usefulness, online store enjoyment, and online store value. Using consumer data collected from two Dutch multichannel retailers, we test this model. . . .

Crowded, Messy Shopping (03-02-20)

Coskun, Gupta, and Burpaz studied how in-store crowds and store neatness influence shoppers’ behaviors.  They report that   “each participant in one of the four conditions was shown visuals of a store. . . . in the low crowded conditions, two people were visible in the visuals but in the high crowded condition, 14 people were visible. In the low messy condition, merchandise was organized well on the displays and racks, but in the high messy condition, merchandise was scattered. . .

Glass Stairs: Issues (02-28-20)

Glass staircases are regularly found in an assortment of environments. Kim and Steinfeld investigated the safety of winding glass staircases: “The purpose of this study was to assess the safety of a winding glass stairway by observing the behavior of stair users. . . .    Video observations were conducted in a retail store with a glass stairway (GS) and a shopping mall with a conventional stairway (CS). . . .  On the glass stairway, more users glanced down at the treads (GS: 87% vs. CS: 59%); fewer users diverted their gaze away from the stairs (GS: 54% vs.


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