Any Designed Environment

The Power of Smells (06-15-21)

A Tomasi-lead team has added to our understanding of the role scents play in our lives; their findings are published in the Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences.  They determined via “Olfactory Virtual Reality (OVR) — a new form of VR that incorporates the sense of smell into its augmented reality  . . . . that stimulating the olfactory system via scent in practitioner-administered virtual realities can trigger memory, cognition and emotion, and may improve the therapeutic benefits of augmented realities targeting chronic pain, anxiety and mood disorders. . . .

The Value of Soundscapes (06-10-21)

Talebzadeh’s recent research indicates the important role that soundscapes play in our lives.  His work focused on “how a personalized soundscape can help those with dementia by providing clues regarding time of day and place. . . . Using a system called AcustiCare, a personalized soundscape is created with a customized algorithm that plays scheduled sounds at specific moments throughout the day. Through feedback, the system can refine the sounds to be played the next day, helping to reinforce time and space for dementia patients.

Learning About Spaces (06-09-21)

Miola and teammates set out to better understand how the form of a place influences the ease with which we learn its spatial information.  The group reports that “Field of view (FOV) allows us to perceive and learn our environment. Reducing the visual field impairs our ability to estimate distance and direction. It has been demonstrated that distance is estimated more accurately in outdoor environment (a lawn) than in indoors (hallway or lobby). . . .

Consumer Minimalism (06-08-21)

Wilson and Bellezza investigated consumer minimalism.  They share that “Minimalism in consumption can be expressed in various forms, such as monochromatic home design, wardrobe capsules, tiny home living, and decluttering. . . . Three distinct dimensions of consumer minimalism are identified: number of possessions (reflecting the ownership of few possessions), sparse aesthetic (reflecting the preference for simple and uncomplicated designs), and mindfully curated consumption (reflecting the thoughtful selection of possessions).”

Music and Stress (06-01-21)

Peck and teammates found that listening to music may not help people feel less stressed in the sorts of situations that are often encountered in daily life, for example, while at work. The researchers report that “Music listening [has been] shown to promote faster physiological recovery following acute stress. . . .  It was hypothesized that listening to music prior to acute stress exposure would decrease stress reactivity compared with white noise (WN), and that self-selected music would serve as a stronger inoculator than researcher-selected music. Participants . . .

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