Dzhambov and colleagues studied the effects of indoor and outdoor greenery on the wellbeing of people during the COVID pandemic. They determined via a survey that “Greenery experienced both indoors and outdoors supported mental health. . . . We employed two self-reported measures of greenery experienced indoors (number of houseplants in the home and proportion of exterior greenery visible from inside the home) and two measures of greenery experienced outdoors (presence/absence of a domestic garden and availability of neighborhood greenery). . . .
Mental health-design links
Annual update released
Mehahed and Ghoneim discuss lived experiences in homes during the pandemic (which boosted, for example, the desirability of sound-insulated home offices with large windows), the health-related challenges of high-density living, and the need for future, multi-story buildings to support “touchless experience from the front door to the apartment door itself. . . . The building might have wider corridors and doorways, and many more staircases. . . .
Strong study, important insights
Older individuals whose homes are more accessible are less likely to feel depressed, according to a recently published study. Vitman-Schorr and colleagues identified, via interviewing people over 65 years old, “a direct negativeeffect between perceived accessibility and depressive symptoms. . . .
Walsh and de la Fuente assessed how people manage their at-home acoustic experiences and the repercussions of those actions. The researchers report that they “propose that home and homeliness [hominess] pertain to the degree to which we can control our auditory involvements with the world and with others. What we term ‘homely listening’ concerns the use of music to make oneself feel at home, in some cases, through seclusion and immersion, and, in others, through either the musical ordering of mundane routines or the use of music to engage in sociality with others. . . .
Kolomatsky reviews a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects (of individual architects and custom-home building/renovation firms) regarding trends influencing home design. As he reports, “special-function rooms and products that serve needs particular to the pandemic [are] rising in popularity. . . . 68 percent of respondents cited increasing client requests for home offices, and none reported a decrease. . . . enhanced or ‘task’ lighting, also gained popularity. . . .
Satisfying diverse sets of user needs
Buyers value particular features