Eijkelenboom, Oritz, and Bluyssen studied links between environmental design and health-related issues. They determined via data collected through onsite visits and a survey distributed to people working in various sections of Dutch healthcare facilities that “building-related aspects that were associated with dry eyes and headaches were work in an office versus consultation room and the absence of windows to the façade and corridor.
Zhang and colleagues probed the value of physical stores. They share that they hypothesized “that one benefit of the store to the retailer is to enhance customer value by providing the physical engagement needed to purchase deep products – products that require ample inspection in order for customers to make an informed decision. . . . we find that buying deep products in the physical store transitions customers to the high-value state more than other product/channel combinations. . . . Customers purchase a deep product from the physical store.
A research team lead by Claesen confirms the value of greenery near elementary school buildings. The group report that “Greenery was measured within school boundaries and surrounding Euclidean buffers [essentially, rings around the schools] (100, 300, 1000 and 2000 m) using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. . . . . Greenery was positively associated with Reading [test] scores in Year 3 (all buffers except 2000 m) and in Year 5 (all buffers), with Numeracy [test scores] in Years 3 and 5 (all buffers) and with Grammar & Punctuation [test scores] in Year 5 (all buffers). . .
Zhang, Yang, Jin, and Li have learned more about how the real environments in which virtual experiences take place influence those virtual experiences. They state that “The experience in virtual reality (VR) is unique, in that observers are in a real-world location while browsing through a virtual scene. . . . Participants performed distance judgments in VR, which rendered either virtual indoor or outdoor scenes. Experiments were also carried out in either real-world indoor or outdoor locations. . . . .
A Tomasi-lead team has added to our understanding of the role scents play in our lives; their findings are published in the Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences. They determined via “Olfactory Virtual Reality (OVR) — a new form of VR that incorporates the sense of smell into its augmented reality . . . . that stimulating the olfactory system via scent in practitioner-administered virtual realities can trigger memory, cognition and emotion, and may improve the therapeutic benefits of augmented realities targeting chronic pain, anxiety and mood disorders. . . .
Recently published research confirms the value of spending time in nature. Castelo lead a team that determined via lab and field studies that “exposure to nature increases a sense of self-transcendence and prosocial behavior. Self-transcendence involves feeling deeply connected to something greater than oneself, including past and future generations. Prosocial behaviors include donating money to charity and prioritizing others above the self. . . . Spending time in nature has many psychological benefits for people, including stress reduction and improved mood.”
Schnellewald and colleagues probed how activity while doing knowledge work influences performance. As they report, their “study examines the possible effects on objective work performance while using two types of dynamic office workstations (DOWs). . . . participants each used one type with three intensities (seated, light, moderate) and completed a task battery assessing cognitive performance and office work with two levels of complexity. . . . By using DOWs, light physical activity can be integrated while working at a desk.
Talebzadeh’s recent research indicates the important role that soundscapes play in our lives. His work focused on “how a personalized soundscape can help those with dementia by providing clues regarding time of day and place. . . . Using a system called AcustiCare, a personalized soundscape is created with a customized algorithm that plays scheduled sounds at specific moments throughout the day. Through feedback, the system can refine the sounds to be played the next day, helping to reinforce time and space for dementia patients.
Miola and teammates set out to better understand how the form of a place influences the ease with which we learn its spatial information. The group reports that “Field of view (FOV) allows us to perceive and learn our environment. Reducing the visual field impairs our ability to estimate distance and direction. It has been demonstrated that distance is estimated more accurately in outdoor environment (a lawn) than in indoors (hallway or lobby). . . .
Wilson and Bellezza investigated consumer minimalism. They share that “Minimalism in consumption can be expressed in various forms, such as monochromatic home design, wardrobe capsules, tiny home living, and decluttering. . . . Three distinct dimensions of consumer minimalism are identified: number of possessions (reflecting the ownership of few possessions), sparse aesthetic (reflecting the preference for simple and uncomplicated designs), and mindfully curated consumption (reflecting the thoughtful selection of possessions).”