place advantage

New Walkability Research (05-21-21)

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. . .

Imaginative Retail Displays (05-20-21)

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. . . .

Social Robots and Responses to Technology (05-19-21)

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.

Moonlight and Sleep (05-18-21)

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

Odors and Opinions (05-17-21)

Research by Syrjanen and colleagues, linking responses to faces and odors smelled while evaluating them, can likely to applied in additional contexts.  The investigators found via a literature review that “Generally, the results indicate that facial expressions are classified more rapidly in the context of odors. Apart from a few studies that show face-odor valence congruency effects, the most consistent finding is that valenced odors affect perceived face valence overall (e.g., faces are perceived as more unpleasant in an unpleasant odor condition).”

Pink Drink Power (05-14-21)

Pink drinks seem to have particularly powerful effects on our physical performance.  Researchers from the University of Westminster have found that “pink drinks can help to make you run faster and further compared to clear drinks. . . . a pink drink can increase exercise performance by 4.4 per cent and can also increase a ‘feel good’ effect which can make exercise seem easier.”All drinks evaluated were exactly the same except for their color. This study is published in Frontiers in Nutrition.  

Positive Responses to Curves (05-13-21)

Ruta and colleagues probe humans’ positive feelings toward curved things.  They report that “Preference for curvature has been demonstrated using many types of stimuli, but it remains an open question whether curvature plays a relevant role in responses to original artworks. To investigate this, a novel set of paintings was created, consisting of 3 variations—curved, sharp-angled, and mixed—of the same 16 indeterminate subjects. . . . participants assigned higher ratings to the curved compared to the sharp-angled version of the paintings.

Children and Nature (05-11-21)

Walshe and Moula confirm that children (age 7 and 8) link nature to positive experiences; the Walshe/Moula study is published in Child Indicators Research.  The research duo determined that “Young children in deprived areas see nature and outdoor spaces as being associated with “happy places”. . . . [the researchers asked study participants] to draw their happy place. . . .  More than half of the children created drawings that included aspects of nature and outdoor spaces, such as trees, grass, parks, gardens, lakes, rivers, outdoor playgrounds, rainbows or sunlight.

Sounds and Shapes, in English (05-10-21)

Sidhu and colleagues have extended research findings previously derived with nonwords to English words.  The group reports that “Sound symbolism refers to associations between language sounds (i.e., phonemes) and perceptual and/or semantic features. One example is the maluma/takete effect: an association between certain phonemes (e.g., /m/, /u/) and roundness [as, for example, with maluma], and others (e.g., /k/, /ɪ/) and spikiness [as, for instance, with takete]. While this association has been demonstrated in laboratory tasks with nonword stimuli. . . .

Working from Anywhere (05-07-21)

Choudhury has integrated findings from his and other’s working from anywhere-related research to detail emerging best practices; his article is available without charge at the web address noted below.  Choudhury’s material is useful to anyone developing a working from anywhere program or looking for insights into environments that support working from anywhere.  As Choudhury states in the overview for his article, “The pandemic has hastened a rise in remote working for knowledge-based organizations.

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