"For years, urban designers and architects have claimed happiness as their goal," Montgomery says. "And yet none of the claims have been supported by empirical evidence. Which isn't to say they're not right. It's just to say that we don't know. That we haven't known."
In this spirit of empirical discovery, Montgomery takes readers around the world in search of the places where urban design has (and has not) improved quality-of-life. — The Atlantic Cities
Human behavior can be extremely difficult to quantify, and determining its exact context even harder. But some cities just seem happier than others, no matter how difficult that status is to qualify. In his book, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, Charles Montgomery tries to...
Oshin Vartanian and his colleagues slipped a group of people inside a brain-scanning machine and flashed hundreds of interior designs -- some curvy, some angular -- in front of them. They then had the choice of describing each room as either "beautiful" or "not beautiful."
The study found that participants overwhelmingly preferred interior spaces with curving coffee tables, meandering sofas and winding floor patterns to rooms filled with angular furniture and rectilinear design. — cnn.com
the nastier the comments, the more polarized readers became about the contents of the article, a phenomenon they dubbed the “nasty effect.” But the nasty effect isn’t new, or unique to the Internet. Psychologists have long worried about the difference between face-to-face communication and more removed ways of talking—the letter, the telegraph, the phone. Without the traditional trappings of personal communication, like non-verbal cues, context, and tone, comments can become overly impersonal... — newyorker.com
As a society slowly urbanizes over time, its psychology and culture change, too... If American culture and psychology grew more individualistic as the country urbanized, wouldn't that transformation be clear in the words from American books (and the concepts that lie behind them)? — The Atlantic Cities
Urban and rural environments impact personal psychology differently, according to research published by UCLA psychologist Patricia Greenfield in Psychological Science. While observational evidence may draw a clear line between current city- and country-mindsets, Greenfield's source material...
window views of landscapes, research shows, can speed patient recovery in hospitals, aid learning in classrooms and spur productivity in the workplace. In studies of call centers, for example, workers who could see the outdoors completed tasks 6 to 7 percent more efficiently than those who couldn’t, generating an annual savings of nearly $3,000 per employee. — nytimes.com
Mark Simon, a founding partner of Centerbrook Architects and Planners, agrees. “I think [bars and other fortifying techniques] send the wrong message to both kids and teachers,” he says. Based in Centerbrook, Connecticut, Simon has designed 20 school buildings, including five public elementary schools, though none in Newtown. “Buildings tell stories, and when a building is designed that way, it tells you that it doesn’t trust you. And kids intuit that they’re not trusted,” he says. — archrecord.construction.com
Dr. Fulliove is a research psychiatrist at New York State University Psychiatric Institute and professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University. In her role with the AIA Board she will share her insights gained from studying the problems of American cities from a psychiatric perspective. — aia.org
According to a new study led by Connie Wanberg, a University of Minnesota professor of organizational and work behavior, the average laid-off worker experiences a gradual improvement in mental health until the 10- to 12-week mark, when the trend reverses.
The study found that those participants who reported better mental health tended to conduct more intense job searches, increasing their likelihood of landing jobs. — online.wsj.com
Wynn’s hotels are famous for having brought a luxurious, five-star approach to Vegas. But their real achievement may be psychological: they have remade the architecture of gaming itself. The received wisdom of modern casino design was codified by a former gambling addict named Bill Friedman in his book “Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition.” — The New Yorker
A REVOLUTION in cognitive neuroscience is changing the kinds of experiments that scientists conduct, the kinds of questions economists ask and, increasingly, the ways that architects, landscape architects and urban designers shape our built environment.
This revolution reveals that thought is less transparent to the thinker than it appears and that the mind is less rational than we believe and more associative than we know. — nytimes.com
Architecture critic, Sarah Williams Goldhagen wrote a brief piece exploring the use of embodied metaphors in contemporary architecture. Looking at recent works by Junya Ishigami, Jürgen Mayer H., Zaha Hadid and Sanaa for instance, Goldhagen notes that the use of metaphors that allude...
Perhaps you have noticed that commercial architecture lining roads in Maryland and Virginia looks more or less the same and not much different from strip malls and boxy stores lining roads in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio or Oregon. [...] Why do housing developments and retail shopping facilities look so much alike, given how much Americans value individuality, freedom of expression and independence? — washingtonpost.com
Based upon the woman's story and Moulin's research, Mabon and Hayes constructed a film-style set for the chronic déjà vu sufferer, complete with marks on the floors, visual instructions and specially-designed objects.
They also created a very detailed schedule to give a feeling of continuity and help the woman go through the day with as few surprises (hence risks of déjà vu) as possible. — we-make-money-not-art.com
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