environment behavior

Flexible Office Spaces (02-28-19)

Research by Soiland and Hansen again indicates that multiple factors influence how spaces are used. As Soiland and Hansen report, “Flexible office concepts offer organisations the ability to adapt quickly to changes, and provide users with possibilities to work flexibly. Ideas about flexible working shape the design concepts employed in office design, and have consequences for users’ everyday work practices. . . . The paper draws on data from a case study in a Norwegian public organisation. Our findings suggest that flexible architecture on its own does not produce flexible workers.

Culture and Memories (02-26-19)

Recently published research highlights links between culture and memories; these findings may be useful to people researching users’ experiences, for instance.  Wang, Hou, Koh, Song, and Yang’s research focused on “Episodic memory [which] supports our sense of self, enabling us to recall specific past experiences that make up our personal history . . . In a set of four studies. . . [the researchers] found that the benefits previously attributed to maintaining detailed episodic memories may in fact be dependent on a person’s culture. . . .

Growing Up In Greener Areas (02-25-19)

An Engemann-lead team determined that growing up in greener areas has lifelong benefits.  The investigators found that “Green space presence was assessed at the individual level using high-resolution satellite data to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index within a 210 × 210 m square around each person’s place of residence (∼1 million people [in Denmark]) from birth to the age of 10. . . . high levels of green space presence during childhood are associated with lower risk of a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders later in life.

An At-University Activity-Based Workplace (02-22-19)

Berthelsen and colleagues investigated the implications of transitioning university staff from cell offices to an activity-based workplace.  The researchers studied, via a survey, “how staff at a large Swedish university experienced the . . . work environment before and after moving to activity-based offices.. . . In the new premises, a vast majority (86 per cent) always occupied the same place when possible, and worked also more often from home. The social community at work had declined and social support from colleagues and supervisors was perceived to have decreased.

Red, Independence; Blue, Interdependence (02-21-19)

Kareklas and colleagues determined that the color red is linked to independence and that blue is associated with interdependence with others.  As they report, “we demonstrate that red is associated with independence-focused words. . . . Participants exhibited a significant automatic association between red geometric shapes and independence-focused words, and between blue geometric shapes and interdependence-focused words. . . . the color red was associated more closely with independence . . . while the color blue was associated more closely with interdependence.”  

Typeface Associations (02-20-19)

Liu, Choi, and Mattila researched behavioral responses to typefaces.  They found that “Healthy restaurants using handwritten (vs. machine-written) typeface will generate more favorable attitudes toward the menu, perceived healthiness, and social media engagement. . . . handwritten typeface creates a competitive advantage by conveying a sense of human touch, which subsequently induces the perception that love is symbolically imbued in the restaurant's offerings.

Encouraging Healthy Eating (02-19-19)

Research conducted by Biswas and Szocslinks scents and eating in intriguing ways.  The duo learned that “Managers are using ambient scent as an important strategic element in various service settings, with food-related scents being especially common. This research examines the effects of food-related ambient scents on children’s and adults’ food purchases/choices.

Zebra Stripes (02-18-19)

Research indicates that the stripes on zebras tend to reduce the likelihood that the animals will be bitten by horse flies; designers can apply this finding when selecting patterns for vertical surfaces.  Caro and teammates determined that “Averting attack by biting flies is increasingly regarded as the evolutionary driver of zebra stripes. . . . We examined the behaviour of tabanids (horse flies) in the vicinity of captive plains zebras and uniformly coloured domestic horses living on a horse farm in Britain.

Supporting Group Work (02-15-19)

Wu and colleagues determined that working in groups of different sizes often has different outcomes. Their results confirm the value of design that supports teams of various sizes. The investigators found that when they analyzed “more than 65 million papers, patents and software products that span the period 1954-2014 . . . smaller teams have tended to disrupt science and technology with new ideas and opportunities, whereas larger teams have tended to develop existing ones. . . .

Workspace Activity: Implications (02-14-19)

Sui and colleagues researched the effects of workspace design on performance.  They found via a literature review that among studies “that met the inclusion criteria: 45 examined a productivity outcome (i.e., typing, mouse, work-related tasks, and absenteeism), 38 examined a performance outcome (i.e., memory, reading comprehension, mathematics, executive function, creativity, psychomotor function, and psychobiological factors), and 30 examined a self-reported productivity/performance outcome (i.e., presenteeism or other self-reported outcome).

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