Any Designed Environment

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.

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 . . .

Scent of Vanilla and Mint (05-09-19)

Lemercier-Talbot and team probed the feelings associated with various scents.  They determined that the smell of vanilla is linked to relaxation and the scent of mint to being energized.

Anais Lemercier-Talbot, Geraldine Coppin, Donato Cereghetti, Christelle Porcherot, Isabelle Cayeux, and Sylvain Delplanque.  2019. “Measuring Automatic Associations Between Relaxing/Energizing Feelings and Odors.”  Food Quality and Preference, vol. 77, pp. 21-31, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2019.04.010

GPS and Navigation (05-08-19)

New evidence confirms that increasing use of GPS has implications for wayfinding systems/tools. Ruginski and colleagues report that “Research has established that GPS use negatively affects environmental learning and navigation in laboratory studies. . . .  In sum, our work suggests that GPS exerts its negative influence on spatial cognitive abilities in the long-term, building on work that has shown its negative effects on environmental learning in the short-term.”  

More Research on Asymmetry (05-06-19)

Recently published research conducted by Luffarelli, Stamatogiannakis, and Yang confirms previously reported associations to items that are asymmetrical.  The researchers report that “Five studies using a variety of experimental approaches and secondary data sets show that a visual property present in all brand logos—the degree of (a)symmetry—can interact with brand personality to affect brand equity. Specifically, compared with symmetrical logos, asymmetrical logos tend to be more arousing, leading to increased perceptions of excitement.

Odors and Food Consumption (05-03-19)

Lefebvre and Biswas studied links between environmental odors, perceived temperature, and food consumption.  They found via field and lab experiments that “the presence of a warm ambient odor (e.g., cedarwood) versus a cool ambient odor (e.g., eucalyptus) reduces the amount of calories consumed and also leads to increased choice of lower-calorie food options. This is attributable to established implicit associations formed from the human body’s innate physiological response to changes in ambient temperature. Specifically, exposure to a warm (vs.

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