place science

Office Design, User Perceptions (05-24-19)

Candido, Chakraborty, and Tjondronegoro investigated how office design influences user perceptions of their performance, health, and comfort.  The researchers found via a post-occupancy evaluation program (nearly 9,000 completed surveys) of offices in Australia that “For open-plan offices, the best-performing features for predicting perceived productivity were . . . amount of interruption, work area aesthetics, degree of adaptation of the work area, furnishing, overall amount of noise, cleanliness, and personal control over lighting.

Emergency Department Design (05-22-19)

Gharaveis, Hamilton, Shepley, Pati, and Rodiek studied how Emergency Department design influences teamwork, communication, and security;  their findings are applicable in both healthcare and other contexts.  The Gharaveis-lead team reports that “By providing high accessibility and visibility, the security issues can be minimized and teamwork and communication can be enhanced. . . . Transparency in the core of the ED would improve levels of teamwork and communication. . . .  design should provide visual and acoustical privacy when needed by flexibility in design. . . .

More Support for Office Control (05-21-19)

Bodin Danielsson reports on the context of work.  She shares that “the experience of office architecture, similar to other architectural experiences, is a holistic experience created by the combined effect of the physical characteristics of the environment and the functional feature of office work. . . . . three separate studies. . . . all indicate that personal control is a key factor for high employee satisfaction and that different factors can enable this using different means.”

Support for Autistic People (05-16-19)

Mostafa has written a classic article on how design can support the wellbeing of people on the autism spectrum; it is available without charge at the web address noted below. Mostafa’s text focuses on the post-occupancy evaluation of a pre-K-8thgrade school, but the insights shared are applicable in a much wider range of space types.  Mostafa recommends, for example that “provisions should be made for different levels of acoustical control in various rooms, so students can ‘graduate’ from one level of acoustical control to the next, slowly moving towards a typical environment. .

Body Position and the Eating Experiences (05-15-19)

Body position has been linked to eating experiences.  Investigators share that “The results of six experiments show that vestibular sensations related to posture (i.e., sitting vs. standing) influence food taste perceptions.  Specifically, standing (vs. sitting) postures induce greater physical stress on the body, which in turn decreases sensory sensitivity.  As a result, when eating in a standing (vs.

Research on Mental Refreshment (05-14-19)

A literature review conducted by a Subiza-Perez-lead team confirms that contact with natural environments is mentally refreshing.  Investigators state that “Almost four decades ago, Attention Restoration Theory and Stress Recovery Theory postulated that nature could help people to recover from the attentional fatigue and the emotional negative outcomes coming from their daily performance. . . . This paper presents a descriptive review of 19 restoration pretest-posttest field studies. . . . there is a reasonable amount of evidence supporting the main premises of ART and SRT.

Staying in/Moving from Neighborhoods (05-13-19)

Van Assche and colleagues investigated why people move from one neighborhood to another, and their findings have broad implications for planning.  The researchers report that  “Previous research has shown that neighborhood (dis)satisfaction is an important determinant for individuals' moving intentions. Attempts by policy makers to boost neighborhood satisfaction, and hence reduce the exodus of people out of particular neighborhoods, have often involved physical interventions and development projects,  such as new parks or infrastructure.  . . . we consider this issue . . .

Testing Environments (05-10-19)

Do the environments in which taste tests are conducted influence outcomes?  New research indicates that they do to some extent. Hannum and colleagues determined that when “red-wine consumers evaluated the same 4 wines in 3 environments—a traditional sensory booth, an immersive wine bar, and an actual wine bar. . . . at the individual level. . . On average, the greatest difference in liking scores occurred between the traditional booths and the actual wine bar . . . and was significantly greater than the difference in liking scores between the booths and immersive wine bar . . .


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