Research Design Connections

Research Design Connections

Research Design Connections

Organisation type: Science-based design magazine Region: International
Research Design Connections is the premier magazine for people who want to stay up-to-date on design-relevant research in the social, physical, and design sciences. Its readers are in professional practice or academic groups, or both, worldwide. They all need to know everything that objective, unbiased science can tell them about how our experiences in the physical world influence how we think and behave.

Research Design Connections (RDC) summarizes, in everyday language, the design-related findings of newly published studies in the peer-reviewed press—the sort of research that’s rigorously derived and reliable. It combines the resulting insights with those from respected, earlier studies.  What results are powerful articles packed with the need-to-know information required to design spaces that, for example: enhance performance at workplaces, schools, healthcare facilities and elsewhere; increase creative thinking; improve health; smooth socializing and getting along with others; spur sales; and foster well-being and positive mental states. RDC also regularly covers how cultures (national, organizational, etc.) and personality influence the experience of designed and natural spaces and objects.

At Research Design Connections (RDC), we’ve been publishing since 2002.  Over the years, we’ve heard from many of our subscribers.  They’ve let us know that there isn’t another place where they can find the sort of useful, science-based information that’s available at RDC and that they wouldn’t think of working on a project without reviewing the research in RDC.  And they let us know that they trust us; that they believe our discussions of design-related science are complete, accurate, and written in a down-to-earth way. In the past year’s monthly issues, we’ve published nearly 40 major articles/reports, integrating information presented in a slew of publications. And those major articles/reports are in addition to about 350 shorter articles and blog posts covering important and practical findings from single studies that RDC has published in the last year. Subscribers also have access to RDC’s archives: over 2,400 useful articles/reports and blog posts on all aspects of research-informed design. Science-informed design and design research can be tough—keeping up with newly published studies and integrating those new findings with older ones can be difficult. RDC makes it easier to work with science in mind because it reports the research findings needed for design-related decision making. Join the Research Design Connections family.  Gain the information you need to do your best work.

Note: This resource was shared by Sally Augustin, a practicing environmental psychologist and publisher of Research Design Connections (RDC).

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Tight spaces by Robert Sommer

Tight spaces by Robert Sommer

Tight Spaces: Hard Architecture and How to Humanize it


Document Type: Book
Author: Robert Sommer
Publisher:  Prentice Hall
First edition: 1974
ISBN: 0139213465
ISBN13: 9780139213465


“Airports where chairs are bolted to the floor to drive patrons into food and drink concessions…picnic tables cemented into the earth, making large parties–or even sitting in the shade–impossible…public toilets, advertised as indestructible by manufacturers, those drive vandals to the use of dynamite in a desperate attempt at a human imprint.

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The Social Life Of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte

The Social Life Of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte

The Social Life Of Small Urban Spaces

Document Type: Book
Author: William Hollingsworth Whyte
Publisher:  Conservation Foundation
First edition: 1980
ISBN: 0891640576
ISBN13: 9780891640578

In 1980, William H. Whyte published the findings from his revolutionary Street Life Project in The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Both the book and the accompanying film were instantly labelled classics and launched a mini-revolution in the planning and study of public spaces. They have since become standard texts, and appear on syllabi and reading lists in urban planning, sociology, environmental design, and architecture departments around the world.

Project for Public Spaces, which grew out of Holly’s Street Life Project and continues his work around the world, has acquired the reprint rights to Social Life, with the intent of making it available to the widest possible audience and ensuring that the Whyte family receive their fair share of Holly’s legacy.

  1. The plaza of life
  2. Sitting space
  3. Sun, wind, trees, water
  4. The “undesirables”
  5. Effective capacity
  6. Indoor Spaces
  7. Concourses and megastructures
  8. Smaller cities and places
  9. Triangulation

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The Handbook of Environmental Psychology

The Handbook of Environmental Psychology

Document Type: Book
Editors: Robert B. Bechtel & Arza Churchman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
First edition: 2002
ISBN10: 0471405949
ISBN13: 978-0471405948

“Featuring the latest research and concepts in the field straight from the world’s leading scholars and practitioners, Handbook of Environmental Psychology provides a balanced and comprehensive overview of this rapidly growing field. Bringing together contributions from an international team of top researchers representing a myriad of disciplines, this groundbreaking resource provides you with a pluralistic approach to the field as an interdisciplinary effort with links to other disciplines.

Addressing a variety of issues and practice settings, Handbook of Environmental Psychology is divided into five organized and accessible parts to provide a thorough overview of the theories, research, and applications at the forefront of environmental psychology today. Part I deals with sharpening theories; Part II links the subject to other disciplines; Part III focuses on methods; Part IV highlights applications; and Part V examines the future of the field.

Defining the ongoing revolution in thinking about how the environment and psychology interact, Handbook of Environmental Psychology is must reading for anyone coping directly with the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that are destroying our environment and putting our lives in jeopardy.” Amazon, USA


CHAPTER 1 The Increasing Contexts of Context in the Study of Environment Behavior Relations
Seymour Wapner and Jack Demick

CHAPTER 2 The Ethical Imperative
Leanne G. Rivlin

CHAPTER 3 Environmental Psychology: From Spatial-Physical Environment to Sustainable Development
Mirilia Bonnes and Marino Bonaiuto

CHAPTER 4 Environmental Management: A Perspective from Environmental Psychology
Enric Pol

CHAPTER 5 The New Environmental Psychology: The Human Interdependence Paradigm
Tommy Gärling, Anders Biel, and Mathias Gustafsson

CHAPTER 6 The Phenomenological Approach to People-Environment Studies
Carl F. Graumann

CHAPTER 7 Ecological Psychology: Historical Contexts, Current Conception, Prospective Directions
Allan W. Wicker


CHAPTER 8 Exploring Pathology: Relationships between Clinical and Environmental Psychology
Kathryn H. Anthony and Nicholas J. Watkins

CHAPTER 9 Environmental Anthropology
Edward B. Liebow

CHAPTER 10 Environmental Sociology
Riley E. Dunlap

CHAPTER 11 Environmental Psychophysiology
Russ Parsons and Louis G. Tassinary

CHAPTER 12 Environmental Psychology and Urban Planning: Where Can the Twain Meet?
Arza Churchman


CHAPTER 13 Transactionally Oriented Research: Examples and Strategies
Carol M. Werner, Barbara B. Brown, and Ir win Altman

CHAPTER 14 Meta-Analysis
Arthur E. Stamps III

CHAPTER 15 The Experience Sampling Method: Measuring the Context and Content of Lives
Joel M. Hektner and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

CHAPTER 16 The Open Door of GIS
Reginald G. Golledge

CHAPTER 17 Structural Equation Modeling
Victor Corral-Verdugo

CHAPTER 18 Spatial Structure of Environment and Behavior
John Peponis and Jean Wineman

CHAPTER 19 Behavioral-Based Architectural Programming
Robert Hershberger

CHAPTER 20 Postoccupancy Evaluation: Issues and Implementation
Craig Zimring


CHAPTER 21 Making a Difference: Some Ways Environmental Psychology Has Improved the World
Robert Gifford

CHAPTER 22 Bridging the Gap: How Scientists Can Make a Difference
Frances E. Kuo

CHAPTER 23 Women and Environment
Karen A. Franck

CHAPTER 24 Children’s Environment
Kalevi Korpela

CHAPTER 25 Design and Dementia
Kristen Day and Margaret P. Calkins

CHAPTER 26 Healthy Residential Environments
Roderick J. Lawrence

CHAPTER 27 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED): Yes, No, Maybe, Unknowable, and All of the Above
Ralph B. Taylor

CHAPTER 28 Wayfinding: A Broad View
Janet R. Carpman and Myron A. Grant

CHAPTER 29 Work Environments
Janetta Mitchell McCoy

CHAPTER 30 Environmental Psychology in Museums, Zoos, and Other Exhibition Centers
Stephen C. Bitgood

CHAPTER 31 Climate, Weather, and Crime
James Rotton and Ellen G. Cohn

CHAPTER 32 Noise Pollution: A Hazard to Physical and Mental Well-Being
Arline L. Bronzaft

CHAPTER 33 The History and Future of Disaster Research
Lori A. Peek and Dennis S. Mileti

CHAPTER 34 The Challenge of Increasing Proenvironment Behavior
E. Scott Geller

CHAPTER 35 Emerging Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives on Conservation Behavior
Joanne Vining and Angela Ebreo

CHAPTER 36 Contamination: The Invisible Built Environment
Michael R. Edelstein

CHAPTER 37 Environmental Conflict and Its Resolution
Tamra Pearson d’Estrée, E. Franklin Dukes, and Jessica Navarrete-Romero

CHAPTER 38 A Methodology of Participatory Planning
Liisa Horelli

CHAPTER 39 Sustained Participation: A Community Based Approach to Addressing Environmental Problems
Esther Wiesenfeld and Euclides Sánchez

CHAPTER 40 Personal Space in a Digital Age
Robert Sommer

CHAPTER 41 Toward an Environmental Psychology of the Internet
Daniel Stokols and Maria Montero

CHAPTER 42 On to Mars!
Robert B. Bechtel

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The Hidden Dimension by Edward T Hall

The Hidden Dimension by Edward T Hall

The Hidden Dimension 

Document Type: Book
Author: Edward T. Hall
Publisher:  New York: Doubleday.
First edition: 1966
ISBN: 0385084765
ISBN13: 9780385084765

People like to keep certain distances between themselves and other people or things. And this invisible bubble of space that constitutes each person’s “territory” is one of the key dimensions of modern society. Edward T. Hall, the author of The Silent Language, introduced the science of proxemics to demonstrate how man’s use of space can affect personal and business relations, cross-cultural interactions, architecture, city planning, and urban renewal.

”One of the few extraordinary books about mankind’s future which should be read by every thoughtful person.” —Chicago Tribune

“This is a book of impressive genius, replete with unusually sharp observations.” —Richard J. Neutra, Landscape Architecture

1. Culture as communication

2. Distance regulation in animals

  • Spacing mechanism in animals: flight distance, critical distance, contact and non-contact species, personal distance and social distance
  • Population control
  • The stickleback sequence
  • Malthus reconsidered
  • The die-off on James Island
  • Predation and population

3. Crowding and social behaviour in animals

  • Calhoun’s experiment: Design of the experiment, development of the slink, courting and sex, Nest building, care of the young, territoriality and social organization, physiological consequence of slink, aggressive behaviour, The slink that didn’t develop, Summary of Calhoun’s experiment.
  • The biochemistry of crowding: Exocrinology, The sugar-bank model, The adrenals and stress, The uses of stress.

4. The perception of Space:  Distance receptors- eyes, ears, and nose.

  • Visual and Auditory Space
  • Olfactory space: The chemical bias of olfaction, olfaction in humans.

5. Perception of space: Immediate receptors- Skin and muscles. 

  • Hidden zones in American offices
  • Thermal space
  • Tactile space

6. Visual space

  • Vision as synthesis
  • The seeing mechanism
  • Stereoscopic

7. Art as a clue to perception

  • Contrast of contemporary cultures
  • Art as a history of perception

8. The language of space 

  • Literature as a key to perception

9. The anthropology of space: An organization model 

  • Fixed- feature space
  • Semifixed-feature space
  • Informal space

10. Distances in Man 

  • The dynamism of space
  • Intimate space
  • Personal space
  • Social space
  • Public space
  • Why “four” distances

11. Proxemics in a Cross-cultural Context: Germans, English and French. 

  • The Germans: Germans and intrusion, The “private sphere”, Order in space.
  • The English: Using the telephone, Neighbours, Whose in the bedroom?, Talking loud and soft, Eye behaviour.
  • The French: Home and family, French use of open spaces, The star and the grid.

12. Proxemics in a cross-cultural context: Japan and the Arab world.

  • Japan: How crowded is crowded?, the Japanse concept of space including the Ma.
  • The Arab World: Behaviour in public, concepts of privacy, Arab personal distances, Facing and not facing, Involvement, Feeling about enclosed boundaries.

13. Cities and culture

  • The need for control
  • Psychology and architecture
  • Pathology and overcrowding
  • Monochronic  and Polychronic time
  • The automobile syndrome
  • Contained community Buildings
  • Prospectus for city planning of the future

14. The proxemics and future of man

  • Form vs function, Content vs structure
  • Man’s biological past
  • The need for answers
  • You cannot shed culture


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