2017 - December

Image credit: 
Sally Augustin

The 20 Most Important Things We Learned in 2017

2017 was a good year for people who value science-informed design.  Many studies published in 2017 deepen our understanding of how humans (and sometimes other species) experience the worlds around themselves.   In many cases, the newly published research allows theory to move into practice.

Designing for Children

Cognitive-science based research has generated powerful insights into how children experience designed spaces and objects. Design that reflects how places and things are most likely to influence youngsters’ thoughts and behaviors can support their development and wellbeing.

Fitness Spaces That Improve Physical—and Mental—Health

Scientists have learned a lot about the design of fitness zones where extra pounds drop away, muscles build, and moods soar.   They’ve identified ways that design can get our hearts and limbs pumping and make it more likely that when we’re done exercising we view our sweat-sodden experiences positively.

Altitude: An Often Overlooked Design Consideration

Our location relative to sea level can have a tremendous effect on the ways our brains work and we act, even if we don’t get altitude sickness.  Designers creating spaces at higher elevations, or objects that will be used there, should know how altitude influences humans, so they can attempt to counter its potential negative consequences.

Public Life Data Protocol

Useful new resource for understanding designed spaces

Retail Research Review

Retail roundup reaches conclusions

Hospital Room Design That Cuts Stress

More evidence that design affects stress

Symmetry and Beauty

Different symmetry, different evaluations

Playing at Work

Be careful when designing in play

Lighting and Opinions About Spaces

Lighting's brightness and uniformity matter

Curves and Expertise

Training influences assessments

Regularly Negative

Survey responses vary over time, regardless

Sensing the World: An Anthropology of the Senses

An introduction to crucial design-related considerations

City of Well-Being: A Radical Guide to Planning

Thoughtful insights for people designing for people