New research documents positive impact of biophilic design on human performance in both simulated and real environments
Defending his dissertation, Harvard PhD candidate Yin Jie uses VR, eye-tracking, and biometric sensors to measure the impact of biophilic design on human performance.
Yie Jie conducted three experiments (one with 28 participants, one with 30, and another with one hundred) in an attempt to quantify the impact of physiological and cognitive responses to different indoor biophilic designs. His results showed:
- Both real and virtual reality biophilic experiences showed similar responses including reduced blood pressure, skin conductivity, and better short term memory.
- Compared to the base case environment with no biophilia, indoor biophilic environments in both open and enclosed office spaces resulted in lower levels of physical stress and higher creativity scores.
- Participants in virtual biophilic environments recovered from stress more quickly than those in virtual non-biophilic ones.
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The project studied visitors’ neurological responses to different interiors; it was a collaboration with an architect, furniture brand, and laboratory.
During Milan Design Week, Google debuted an wristband that measures sweat, skin tension, and heart rate. After wearers were walked through a series of three rooms, each distinctly designed to evoke a sense of calm, a printout showed which one put them most at ease. Though experimental, the technology holds the promise of furthering the science of design.
FMJ's How-To Guide features article on how to quantify the impact of workplace change.
WE contributes a monthly column to FM Journal. This month Workplace Evolutionary, Kate Lister shows how to quantify the impact of workplace change on productivity, engagement, and turnover and offers tips on how to design spaces that improve all three.
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." "The adage has been used in countless ways since the early 1900s, and it’s still the best way I know to describe the challenge of critiquing creative work. What it means to me is, we’re using the wrong language, but it’s all we have."
IDEO went in search of a common language to describe and critique creative excellence. After much deliberation they settled on:
They then created a card with questions to provoke thought about each. For example, the Bravery card poses the questions:
- Does the work, and the team, embody risk taking?
- Did the work introduce a new perspective, or inspire an organization to change?
- Will the world remember this decades from now?
So instead of stumbling around for words to describe why a design doesn't quite feel right, you might say "it's not brave enough."
It took me several re-reads to buy into their concept, but now I find myself seeing all kinds of kinds of business applications for this deck of cards from strategic planning, to product development, to workplace design, and beyond.