Any Designed Environment

Managing Visual Disorder (09-16-22)

Biliciler, Raghunathan, and Ward evaluated how disorder influences product assessments.  They report that “an advertisement for kitchen tools might display the tools alongside various ingredients, or an advertisement for a bookstore might showcase pictures of the store’s interior. One underlying visual characteristic of such images is the degree of ‘entropy’—or disorder—in their content. . . . we find that while high-entropy images shift consumers’ temporal focus to the past, low-entropy images shift their temporal focus to the future.

Boosting Learning (09-13-22)

Van der Groen and colleagues link sensory experiences and learning outcomes.  They share that “Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) is a non-invasive electrical brain stimulation method that is increasingly employed in studies of human brain function and behavior, in health and disease. tRNS is effective in modulating perception acutely and can improve learning. . . .

Making Art Sacred (09-12-22)

Chen, Ruttan, and Feinberg studied how art becomes sacred and their findings are likely applicable to other sorts of objects/situations.  The researchers report that they “used art as a case study to develop and test a theory wherein collective transcendence beliefs—beliefs that an object links the collective to something larger and more important than the self, spanning space and time—are a key determinant of the sacredness of objects. . . .

Sensory Art (09-09-22)

Spence studied art linked to bodily sensations.  He shares that “In recent years, there has been something of an explosion of interest in those artworks and installations that directly foreground the bodily senses [often referred to as proprioceptive (or prop.) art]. . . . The entertainment/experiential element of such works cannot be denied, especially in an era where funding in the arts sector is so often linked to footfall. At the same time, however, a number of the works appear to be about little more than entertainment/amusement.

Circadian Lighting and Elderly Falls (08-31-22)

Grant and colleagues investigated falls in care homes by elderly (mean age 81 +/- 12 years old) residents.  They report that some test locations “had solid-state lighting installed throughout the facility that changed in intensity and spectrum to increase short-wavelength (blue light) exposure during the day (6 am–6 pm) and decrease it overnight (6 pm–6 am). The control sites retained standard lighting with no change in intensity or spectrum throughout the day. The number of falls aggregated from medical records were assessed over an approximately 24-month interval. . .

Happy Design

Neuroscience lays out how design can increase the likelihood that people feel happy.  The upbeat repercussions of people being in good moods are varied and significant.


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