Engelen, Rahmann, and de Jong reviewed published studies to learn more about how design influences Quality of Life (QoL) of older individuals. They report that their work “takes a cross-disciplinary approach to understand the current evidence of the relationship between design, healthy ageing and QoL. . . . The extracted literature suggests there is good evidence for the role of biophilia, and indoor environmental quality; emerging evidence for technology, wayfinding, and opportunities for social interactions; but limited evidence for safety/security and adaptability/fit.
Kalantari and Shepley assessed the experience of living in a high-rise building. They determined via reviewing previously published studies that “negative psychological and social impacts have been consistently associated with high-rise environments, particularly for lower-income populations.”
When we feel “at home” (wherever we actually are) we’re profoundly comfortable, in a way that boosts our cognitive performance and our mental wellbeing. Neuroscientists have thoroughly investigated why some places feel homey and others don’t as well as when, where, and why homelike spaces should be developed.
Chesterman, de Pattista, and Causse evaluated the during-lockdown experiences of people living in France. They found that “Household affordances were found to be a positive factor of lockdown coping and resilience. . . . larger residences are positively related to resilience, and suggests that household affordances such as private areas, space to practice a physical activity, access to outdoors, adequate workspace, and proximity to healthcare services (…), are integral to coping with lockdown and building resilience. . . . .
Puglisi and colleagues studied the experiences of people working remotely and it seems likely that their findings can be applied more generally. The researchers report that data they collected via surveys completed by remote workers “show that 55% of the workers perform their activity in an isolated room of the home environment, 43% in a shared room (e.g., kitchen, living room), and 2% in an outdoor space, with the majority of workers (57%) performing activity without other people in the environment. . . .
The health-related, behavioral, and cognitive implications of having and using sit-stand desks have been carefully and thoroughly investigated by neuroscientists.
Stresses driving choices
Options that improve performance
Ruger, Stawarz, Skora, and Wiernik studied individuals’ willingness to commute and their findings have implications for locating both homes and workplaces. The researchers report that “We use unique longitudinal data from four European countries – Germany, France, Spain, and Switzerland – to examine the relationship between individual level willingness to commute long distances (i.e. at least 60 min one-way) and actual commuting behavior. . .
How should homes be lit to increase the likelihood of healthy users? Ticleanu report that “A combination of bright daytime light and night-time darkness is essential for circadian entrainment and maintenance of a regular daily sleep–wake cycle. . . . Find indoor seating positions that receive abundant daylight levels but still allow for visual comfort to be maintained. For example, facing towards windows but at an angle and/or at a distance away from them so that glare does not occur, and visual task details are perceived easily, quickly and comfortably.. .