place science

Context and Reviews (02-04-22)

Brandes and Dover evaluated how weather conditions influence user reviews; their findings may not come as too much of a surprise to anyone who’s ever collected user feedback.  The information gathered by Brandes and Dover may also help explain unexpected/unanticipated sets of reviews or with the scheduling of studies, when possible.  Brandes and Dover report that their study “uses a unique dataset that combines 12 years of data on hotel bookings and reviews, with weather condition information at a consumer’s home and hotel address.

ABW Design – Culture Links (02-03-22)

Nanayakkara and colleagues studied links between activity-based workplace design and organizational culture via interviews and surveys.  They report that “The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of introducing activity-based working (ABW) on existing organisational culture. It was addressed from the perspective of the management of large corporate organisations. . . . Workplace designs directly influence culture by supporting the systems, symbols, engagement/motivation and behaviours of the organisation and employees. . . .

Indoor Air Purifiers – Why? (02-02-22)

Cooper and associates probed why people use indoor air purifiers in their homes.  They learned that “One of the most widely available technologies to clean the air in homes of particulate matter of less than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5), known to have negative health impacts, are portable home air purifiers (HAPs). . . . perceptions of IAQ were not correlated with measured high PM2.5 levels; occupants reported the HAPs to have a ‘cooling’ effect, which may explain why the predominant driver of HAP use was thermal comfort, rather than IAQ, in all three cities [where data were collected].

Past, Future Downtowns (02-01-22)

Sands and colleagues researched how urban planners believe design can drive city success.  They share that “In an online survey, urban planners were asked to identify the attributes that contributed to the success of the downtowns of mid-size urban areas prior to the pandemic as well as the attributes that would facilitate their post-pandemic recovery. While some urban scholars expect that recovery will lead to a ‘new normal’, the planners surveyed here are largely focused on restoring the ‘old normal’.”  

Hospital Design Resource (01-31-22)

The Architecture of Health – Hospital Design and the Construction of Dignity distills and presents Murphy’s (and MASS’s) insights into hospital design.  As the web page created for the book by its publishers states ( “Reading architecture through the history of hospitals offers a tool for unlocking the elemental principles of architecture and the intractable laws of human and social conditions that architecture serves in each of our live

Design Messages (01-28-22)

Although much of Danesi’s book focuses on communication via body language, facial expressions, and interpersonal zones/distancing, there are sections that directly address design’s nonverbal messaging.  Danesi shares, for example that “The fact that social groups build and design their abodes and public edifices of their villages, towns, and cities in characteristic ways is an indication that these are meaningful proxemic structures.

Controlling In-Hospital Experiences (01-27-22)

Willems and colleagues investigated environmental control by hospital patients.  They report that “Research indicates that adaptation influences how people experience indoor conditions (ICs), and that the built environment influences both adaptation, via perceived control, and well-being. . . . we investigated how the design of hospital rooms can contribute to patients’ well-being by supporting their adaptation of and to ICs via perceived control.

Knowledge/Idea Sharing (01-26-22)

Soares and colleagues researched which sorts of places people felt they were most likely to have shared knowledge/ideas in.  The team learned via data collected at two sorts of Dutch university campuses (inner city ones and “science parks”) that “locations of built environment features influenced creativity between people. . . .  ‘creativity’ or ‘creative encounters’ were represented by the act of sharing knowledge and the exchange of ideas with others. . . . At inner-city campuses, creativity was localized in one or two spots, and somewhat dependent on university buildings.

Haunted House Effects (01-25-22)

In a study perfect for Halloween but just released, Tashjian and collegues report on just what happens to us when we’re in a scary place (for this project, a haunted house with 17 rooms) and the social nature of fear-type responses.  They share that “Threats elicit physiological responses, the frequency and intensity of which have implications for survival. Ethical and practical limitations on human laboratory manipulations present barriers to studying immersive threat. . . . The current . . .

After Schoolyard Greening . . . (01-24-22)

Van Dijk-Wesselius and colleagues studied how children (their sample was 7 – 11 years old) responded during recess breaks when additional plants are added to their schoolyards.  The team determined via data collected through videotaping at 5 primary schools (all of whose school yards were paved when baseline measurements were taken) in The Netherlands that “Results show an increase in observed play, as compared to non-play, behavior, after greening.


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