Research Journal Vol. 09.02

This issue of Perkins+Will Research Journal includes four articles that focus on different research topics, such as the impact of active workstations in office environments, methods for integrating material health research with the design process, influences of indoor plants on psychological well-being in workplaces, and effects of a mentoring program in design practice.

“Activating the Workplace: The Impact of Active Workstations on Employee Effectiveness” discusses how active workstations affect physical and psychological well-being, as well as employee effectiveness in office environments. This literature review study analyzed existing publications. It offers an insight how height-adjustable workstations and treadmill desks impact cognitive functions, productivity and performance of office workers.

“Material Health and Transparency: Methods for Improved Integration with Design Process” presents how material health research can be improved through user-friendly online databases and physical material libraries. The article discusses relationships between materials, their impacts on health, and designers’ decision-making in selecting and specifying healthy materials. The article also discusses how online databases and physical material libraries can be improved to facilitate integration of material research and design process.

“Outside In: Influences of Indoor Plants on Psychological Well-Being and Memory Task Performance in a Workplace Setting” presents an experimental study that investigated relationships between indoor plants, psychological response and performance of office workers. The results of the study indicate marginal increase in memory task performance with the presence of plants, but improvements in psychological well-being were not found. The findings suggest that plants in the workplace may not be noticed by employees due to complexities of daily tasks. Indoor plants may have more impact on psychological well-being in restorative environments, such as healthcare facilities.

“Learning through Osmosis: A Report on the Seattle Mentorship Program’s Pilot Session” considers an alternative approach to mentorship in design practices, which links mentors and mentees in a less formal way than traditional mentorship programs through shadowing opportunities. The article reviews structure of the program, processes and outcomes of a pilot session, where focus groups and surveys were used to understand the effectiveness of the program. Results indicate that mentees gained greater career insight and knowledge about the intricacies of the design practice.

Download the Research Journal Vol. 09.02