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Take your time Combine nature and technology to relieve work related stress in the office environment Federico Trevia Master Thesis Design For Interaction TU/Delft 2013


Federico Trevia Master Thesis in Design For Interaction TUDelft 19th September 2013

Chair: Jan Buijs Mentor: Ernst-Jan Mul Philips Mentor: Tom Djajadiningrat


Take your time Combine nature and technology to relieve work related stress in the office environment


Contents

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Combine nature and technology to relieve work related stress in the office environment

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0. Executive Summary

7

a. Framework

40

1. Introduction

8

b. Concept development

42

a. Problem definition

9

6. Thinking through making

45

b Assignment

a. 1st Prototype

46

c. Teamwork

b. 2nd Prototype

48

d. Results

c. From handcrafting to outsourcing

50

e. Responsibilities

d. Final prototype

52

f. Method

10

7. Experts Evaluation

69

2. Stress framework & GRIP's heritage

12

a. Research aim

70

a. Stress

13

b. Research Questions

b. Work related stress

14

c. Participant & Method

71

c. Grips heritage

17

d. Discussion

75

3. Explorations

21

e. Analysis

76

a. Natural healing & Biophilia

22

f. Results

80

b. Philips Design as case of study

25

8. User evaluation, prolonged use

86

c. Interviews with stress experts

28

9. Redesign

92

d. Form exploration

30

10. Conclusions

111

4. Funtions and principles

31

a. Introducing novelty

112

a. List of functions

32

b. Learnings

113

b. Nid, mimicking without copying

33

c. Method

114

c. Biomimicry & Life Principles

34

d. Nature Inspired Design approach

d. Life Principles translated in design

36

e. What is needed for quick and dirty 116

principles e. Additional features

5. Concept

prototyping @ Philips Design

38

References

120

39

Appendices

122


00. Executive Summary

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The work described in this report is the last phase of the GRIP project, a Governmental/Philips co-founded project which has been running for one year and a half before the beginning of this final stage in February 2013. The project involves several organizations such as TUDelft, TU/Eindhoven, Design Academy, Philips, Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg Eindhoven (GGZE), in collaboration with relaxation experts and addresses the issue of flexibility versus control in the design of product service systems aimed at work related stress. Aim of the project is to build a relaxation space to help employees tackle work related stress using a combination of Nature Inspired Design (NID) and Philips technology within an ambient experience. In practice the project consisted of designing in multiple iterations a full working prototype of the relaxation space within the office environment of Philips Design. An exploration phase was conducted at the beginning of the project to gather information on the topic through interviews with relaxation experts and Philips employees, visit at the GGZE and literature research. Designing the space, NID tools such as Biomimicry’s Life’s Principles were used; suggestions from Biophilic Design have been taken in consideration as well to define which characteristics the relaxation space should have. The prototype was developed, built and introduced as a new social ritual, proposing the concepts of awareness, prevention and common wellness. The final prototype is a dynamic space, which adapts its dimensions according to users’ needs; it presents a generative soundscape and a loop of coloured pacing light which help occupants to relax focusing on their breathing. The prototype has been evaluated in two phases: the first by twenty-three experts to get feedback on how to improve it before the introduction to the employees; the latter with a group of beta users to evaluate a prolonged use. At the end of the projects, taking into account the feedback gathered and pushing even more the Nature Inspired attitude of the project, two new versions have been designed to suggest fast improvements and an eventual futuristic product for Philips.

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01. Introduction Is it possible to fight stress within the place which is usually the most important factor in creating it, the office environment? Which are the environmental conditions in which stress and overwhelming can be relieved? How can we benefit from nature’s lessons and assets in creating this environment? How can we create stress awareness into workers and drive them to contrast it autonomously or subconsciously? Is it possible to solve those problems and even prevent stress generation by a good design? These are few of the questions Philips is trying to answer through this project in collaboration with Nature Inspired Design, a consortium that takes cues from nature to design products that are economically and ecologically profitable.

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Problem definition

Teamwork

Work related stress is an important issue companies have to deal with, employees can feel overwhelmed and work less efficiently, the pathology is often virally spread influencing the productivity of whole departments. Philips wants to exploit its knowledge in healthcare and technology mixed with a fresh acknowledgement on Nature Inspired Design to succeed in finding a solution.

During the project I worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team, including designers and researchers. The conceptualization and realization of the prototype have been executed in collaboration with Adam Henriksson, an interaction design student from Umea, Sweden. The evaluation of the prototype has been carried out with Evelien van de Garde Postdoctoral Researcher in Business Process Design Group at TU/Eindhoven. Helle Ullerup, Product Designer and Luc Geurts, Creative Director both @Philips Design , followed the project from the beginning and therefore have been involved in part of the decision making and project management.

Assignment

Responsibilities

The goal of the project is to design a product/ambient solutions which can help employees to relax or reenergize, depending on their needs. The project is focused on combining high-tech Philips solutions in light and sound with Nature Inspired Design tools and techniques such as Biomimicry to aid relaxation and energizing. A research on the aspects of using nature as inspiration for relaxation and energizing was conducted, the inspirations gathered from nature have been therefore pivotal to set the main characteristics and functions of the final design.

Within the project I was mainly in charge of researching relevant input on nature inspired relaxation and energizing, apply those findings through concept design, product design, quick 'n dirty physical prototyping as well as production of the final physical prototype. I also participated to the evaluation phase contributing to the interviews executed with Evelien van de Garde. Each iteration of the project included research, application of the findings, user testing and evaluation of the insights through a new concept.

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Method The method that has been used for this project has been

In addition to this, the user evaluation phases and the

defined in advance such as “Design through practice”. The

analysis of the results have been conducted following strict

aim was to have a fast acknowledgment on the field by

and pre-defined procedure in collaboration with Evelien van

diving into the early researches conducted in the previous

de Garde from TU/e.

phases, hence develop a concept straight away and build a prototype through multiple iterations and evaluations. This process might result similar to the PBDR, Practice Based Design Research, which is defined by Hockey such as “the use of research-inspired principles, designs and informationgathering techniques within the existing forms of practice to answer questions that emerge from practice in ways that informs practice” [Hockey, 1999]. Within this process “Physical hypothesis are generated through design and/or a context-related body of knowledge is constructed (…) objective and testable knowledge is created through cycles of building and evaluating structurally varied, experimental and product relevant prototypes” [Horvàth, 2007]. At the beginning of the model have been introduced the concepts of Problem-As-Given (the initial information on stress, extended with literature research), and ProblemAs-Perceived (further exploration conducted to broaden the knowledge before starting conceptualizing). PBDR is recognized to be a typical design process therefore it may appear a weak form of inquiry scientific and academic results. In order to give clear information and to increase the academic value of the project, literature research has been conducted on the main drivers of the project and used to build knowledge upon. The literature aims to back up and reinforce some concepts which have been absorbed during the whole process of the project, but also to strengthen the truthfulness and the scientific rigor of the method used. Of course the PBDR process has been adapted to fulfill the specifics of the project and personal design preferences, for NID tools such as Biomimicry’s Life’s Principles have been introduced.

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02. Stress framework & GRIP's heritage In the previous phases of the project a big amount of knowledge has been collected and developed [van de Garde-Perik, Snelders, Thompson, 2013]. The heritage of GRIP work has been showcased during the kick-off workshop of the project that took place in the week of the 14th of January. The workshop was organized to converge from the big amount of knowledge gathered so far towards a more concrete set of requirements for building a prototype. During the workshop a first rough prototype was created and evaluated with users; a video of the evaluation was edited after the workshop to document the experience. A summary with the findings of the workshop has been added in the Appendix 1. To have a better understanding of the whole project and its results, some more in depth notions have to be explained about the workshop and about how the project was already influenced by more than one year and a half GRIP’s work.

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One indeed can imagine that after a so long period of work, with different stakeholders and people involved, some concepts and ideas are already rooted in the multiple concepts generated in early stages. It has been very useful to have a wide overview of the knowledge within the field, therefore information on what has been introduced in the workshop, and consequently created the first framework of the project, have to be taken in considerations. In addition to this, a brief explanation on stress and work related stress will be presented. These insights have been collected mainly through literature research and provide a basic understanding of the topic.

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2.a Stress In everyday life, the term stress is commonly used and wide

that stress is a complex status that is generated by a

spread all over the world. Everybody has faced what he/

combination of different factors dependent from the

she defines a “stressful” situation at least once in life-time,

stimuli of the environment, but also from physiological

before an exam, in a traffic jam, due to a working problem

and psychological conditions of each individuals. Stress

that apparently does not have solutions, before revealing

therefore affects people in different ways that can vary from

something you did wrong…

person to person depending how the body is able to cope

The concept of stress has been introduced for the first time

with the stressors and adapt itself to the hostile conditions.

by Hans Selye who, after have experimented using physical

What can be experienced as challenging or stressful

and emotional stimuli on animals (blaring light, deafening

for

noise, extremes of heat or cold, perpetual frustration)

someone else and consequently do not create any form of

defined the result as a non-specific response of the

stress. Even the same stressful situation occurring twice to

organism to any pressure or demand [Selye, 1956].

the same person, can be perceived differently because of

The concept has been picked up and furthered studied by

the experience gained and therefore be faced with more/

different points of view in the following years, generating

less confidence. A stressful condition produces within the

multiple definition of the phenomenon. One of the most

individual physical, psychological and social disorders which

recognized definitions of stress, that puts in relation the

are the result of the feeling of being not able to cope with

individual with the surrounding environment has been

challenges and pressures.

coined by Lazarus that defined stress as:

Stress cannot be considered a disease per se, short

someone, can be considered completely normal for

exposure to stressful conditions are perceived to be

“A particular relationship between a person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resource and endangering his or her well-being” [Lazarus and Folkman, 1984].

positive because keep the individual alerted and ready to react, but the prolonged stimulation may cause several health issues. Fig. 01. Personal factors such as bad habits influence stress levels

This definition already emphasizes how stress is created by a process that involves external stimuli (or stressors) that are able to influence mental state and well-being, but even more importance has been given lately to emotions over cognitive center. McCraty [McCraty,2006] for example defines stress as “emotional unease” and in his theory claims that stress is generated not just by direct response to external stimuli but also by internal emotional processes and attitudes of individuals, even in absence of stimuli. Already from these definitions it is possible to understand

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2.b Work related stress Work related stress is the translation of the stress

work related stress, the overall costs of work related stress

principles within the work environment.

accident and diseases is estimated in between 2,6 and 3,8 %

Several organizations such as the Healthy and Safety

of the total European GDP.

Executive (UK) or the International Labor Organization

In 2002 the European Commission reported that the cost

(ILO) have formulated their definitions, but at European

per year caused by work related stress in Europe (at that

level the definition has been given in the “Framework

time with 15 members) was EUR 20,000 million;

agreement on work-related stress” edited by the European

In The Netherlands in 2001 the estimated total costs

Commission in 2004:

of work-related illness per worker amounted to EUR 1768 and a research on a sample of the Dutch workforce

“..the emotional, cognitive, behavioral and psychological reaction to aversive and noxious aspects of work, work environments and work organizations. It is a state characterized by high levels of arousal and distress and often by feelings of not coping."

suggested that in 2004 11% of workers experienced burnout [European Agency for Safety and Health at work, 2009].

To give an idea of how big is the issue and how many people it involves, some figures that describe the phenomenon both on a human-resources level, but also on an economical level will be presented. According to the World Health Organization, mental health disorders and cardiovascular diseases are expected to be

in 2002

more than

€20bln 50% were the European costs caused by work related stress

of all the lost working days is caused by stress

the two prime contributing factors to illness worldwide by 2020, stress contributes to both of them[Terrapin Bright Green LLC, 2012]. According to the 2006 Fourth European Working Conditions Survey , in 2005 stress was experienced on average by 22% of workers from 25 Member States and 2 Acceding Countries of the European Union, the country in which it was registered the highest pick was Greece (55%), followed by Slovenia and Sweden (38%). Lowest stress levels were reported in United

in 2001

in 2004

€1768 11% were the estimated cost for each Dutch worker caused by deseases related to work

of the Dutch workers experienced burn out

Kingdom (12%), Germany, Ireland and The Netherlands (16%). According to the International Labour Organization (www. ilo.org) the 50/60% of all the lost working days is caused by

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stressors occurring in the office environment and divided them in four different categories [Le Blanc, de Jonge and Schaufeli, 2003]:

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12

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Le Blanc, de Jonge and Schaufeli, who studied different models of work related stress in relation to workers’ physical and psychological health, identified the main

Job content

22

work over/under-load, complex or monotonous work, excess of responsibilities, conflicting/ambiguous demands;

Working conditions

UK

NL

EU

SE

EL

poor conditions of the working environment (noise, vibrations, lighting, temperature), posture, lack of protective devices;

% of stressed workers in EU countries (2005)

Employment conditions What are the causes? What generates work related stress? Depending on the type of job, the position occupied and of course personal adaptation, stressors may be more influencing or less influencing. The main stressor for an orchestra musician for example might be to do not violate the artistic integrity of the composition, for a nurse the death of a patient[Spector, 2006].

shift work, low wage, poor career perspective, job flexibility/insecurity;

Social relations at work poor leadership, discrimination.

low

social

support,

liberties,

Like stressors, even reactions to stressful conditions are perceived differently depending on individual and can be clustered in five groups [Le Blanc, de Jonge and Schaufeli, 2003]:

• affective (mindset, feelings) • cognitive (ability of reasoning) • physical • behavioral • motivational.

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Each of those clusters can be interpreted at different levels: individually, interpersonally and organizationally and therefore generate different output/reactions. The table in resumes the most important stress reactions and the levels in which they can be interpreted.

Type/level

Individual

Interpersonal

Organizational

Affective

Anxiety Tension Anger Depressed mood apathy Helpless/powerlessness Cognitive impairment Difficulties in decision making

Irritability Being oversensitive

Job dissatisfaction

Hostility Suspicion projection

Cynism about work role Not feeling appreciated Distrust in peers, supervisos, management

Violent outburst Aggressive behavior Interpersonal conflicts Social isolation/withdrawal

Poor work performance Declined productivity Tardiness Turnover Increased sick leave Poor time management

Loss of interest in others Indifference discouragement

Loss of work motivation Resistance to go to work Dampening of work initiative Low morale

Cognitive

Physical

Behavioural

Motivational

Physical distress(headache, nausea, etc.) Psychosomatic disorders (gastric-intestinal disorders, coronary disease etc.) Impairment of immune system Changes in hormone levels Hyperactivity Impulsivity Increased consumption of stimulants (caffeine, tobacco) and illicit drugs over and undereating

Loss of zeal Loss of enthusiasm Disillusionment Disappointment Boredom demoralisation

[Le Blanc, Jonge and Schaufeli. 2003]

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2.c Grip's heritage Such as explained previously, stress is not a disease but the

The main drivers presented during the workshop, resuming

prolonged exposition to stressful conditions; it might lead

GRIP’s activities so far, were the following:

to chronic illness or anyways affect the body of workers with long term consequences such as high blood pressure, affective disorders, disturbed metabolism, alcohol/drug dependencies, musculoskeletal disorders [Houtman, 2005]. The reduction of physical and mental capabilities of the

a) Cope the stressful conditions enhancing the connection between body and mind through relaxation techniques such as paced breathing and guided meditation.

workers leads consequently to a decline of the performance of the whole department and organization. The stressed condition of the employee affects the productivity of the company and is noticeable through indicators such as absenteeism, increase of the frequency of staff turnovers,

b) Monitor stressed individuals using technology such as Philips Vital Sign or Heart Rate Variability to inform them on their stress condition and/or trigger them to take action.

decrease of productivity, impaired performance, increased costs through presenteeism (the loss of productivity created when employees come to work but are less

c) Release stress through the use of natural elements and/or features.

productive)[The Sainsbury Center for Mental Health, 2007]. A phenomenon like presenteeism is important to understand the conditions of most of the employees under heavy stress conditions: they keep on working, trying to

Fig. 02. User in the first prototype during the workshop

appear in a normal mental conditions for the fear of being labeled or stigmatized until is too late for their bodies or careers. How to solve it? Given this short framework it is easy to understand that work related stress is a broad field that have a long list of factors influencing it but also that can have multiple consequences at different levels within the single person and on a company level. It is therefore important to understand that the problem can be tackled from different perspectives (prevention/coping) and at different levels (individual/interpersonal and organizational).

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These drivers are the starting point of our project, they are the information we were given at the beginning, on which we built with literature, interviews and explorations. In the following sections these drivers will be explained to give to the reader a better understanding of the arguments.

a) Relaxation techniques Paced breathing Such as explained previously the body tends to react to stressful conditions altering its functionalities. Under pressure, the sympathetic nervous system (that stimulates the body when cognitive function is needed) triggers the adrenal gland to secrete hormones that, among other effects, increases blood pressure resulting in an increased heartbeat arousing anxiety, frustration etc. . What paced breathing aims for is the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system (that serves to relax the body and it is used to regulate internal processes such as digestion) to reduce the heart beat and therefore relax the body. The average breathing rhythm is documented to be around 15-20 breaths per minute, paced breathing exercises focus on help people to regulate and control their breathing gradually until 5-7 breaths per minute in order to shift, within a short period of time, from stressed to calm [McLean and Jahnke, 2011].

Fig. 03. During a session of guided meditation natural elements are recalled to help the mind to shift the attention from stressors.

Guided meditation Meditation has been practiced for centuries all over the

Guided meditation makes use of visualization (physical

world to establish and enforce the balance between

images/videos or mental imaginations) to recall relaxing

body and mind. Different ways of meditating have been

places or situations. The meditation process aims to relax

practiced and generally considered effective by the holistic

through breathing exercises and mental images and it is

medicine, some of them are even recognized beneficial in

led by a guide or a teacher (physical or audio) that guides

reducing stress effects on body by the scientific community

the practitioner through the session. During a guided

[Grossmana, Niemannb, Schmidt and Walach, 2004],

meditation session multiple stimuli might be triggered to

[Eppley, Abrams and Shear, 1989], [Kabat-Zinn, Massion,

enhance the experience and the resulting effect.

Kristeller, Peterson, Fletcher, Pbert, Santorelli, 1992].

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b) Monitoring / Treating through technology

object placed on the desk of the user [mirrorofemotions. com].

During the workshop it appeared clear that one of the drivers considered important to tackle stress was

The Philips Vital Signs Camera is an application that exploit

monitoring individuals’ Biofeedback.

the optics of Ipad 2 and Iphone 4s to measure remotely

Biofeedback are defined by the Association for Applied

users’ heart beat and breathing rate tracking the movement

Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB, www.aapb.org)

of the chest and the small changes in the color of the facial

such as:

skin. Users can keep track of their measurements through

“…a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feedback" information to the user.” [AAPB, 2008]

the History function of the application and display them afterwards in different configurations such as graphs or table view. [vitalsigncamera.com]

Fig. 04. Philips Rationalizer

The use of instruments for biofeedback is largely common in Philips, that has already developed several applications in projects related to body balancing and stress management. Examples are the concept Philips Rationalizer and Philips Vital Sign Camera app. The Philips Rationalizer was developed by Philips Design in collaboration with ABN AMRO targeting home investors and online traders. It works as an “emotions mirror” in which the user sees reflected his/her emotional state enabling him/her to avoid to take final decisions when too much emotions (that could compromise the decision) are involved. It also can be seen as an alarm alerting the user when it is time to take a break. The emotional arousal is measured through a galvanic skin response sensor on the Emobracelet; the intensity of the emotions is displayed with patterns of dynamic light changing in color and speed both on the Emobracelet and on the Emobowl, a plate-shaped

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c) Natural element It will be explained in the following stages how Nature Inspired Design has been a pivotal asset in the conceptualization of the relaxation space, but it has to be said that the natural element has been involved in the project since the earliest stages. Several types of fragrances and herbs have been cited during the workshop such as lavender, sage, rosemary, chamomile, ginseng to be good remedies in healing the body from stress. All these plants indeed have been used for thousands of years for healing the body within the Ayurvedic medicine. Ayutvedic medicine is a healing method appeared in India between three and five thousand years ago that utilizes herbal and mineral remedies (together with breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, massaging) as holistic healing methods to prevent the capacity of our body to keep its own natural balance. Ayurvedic medicine being the oldest surviving healing system, is still widely used in modern India and it is spreading as well in the West society. Its treatments are unluckily very individualized, making it difficult to draw general diagnosis [Vasant, 1999]. Elements from the world of plants were included in the workshop concepts; the implementation of a small garden with different types of herbs/plants was one of these. A small research has been conducted on which fragrances and herbs could have been used to better stimulate and heal people using the relaxation space but the personal way of perceiving smells convinced us to avoid the use of fragrances that might be pleasant for someone and disgusting for others. The information on natural element that have been gathered at the beginning were, as you can see, quite general and diverse. The idea of using nature’s assets to create a more pleasant environment for users was clear since the first phases, but it was not clear where focus should have been.

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Fig. 05. Lavender is a circulatory stimulant, relieves muscle spasms

Fig 06. First sketches of the relaxation space

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03. Explorations The insights presented so far, represent just the tip of the iceberg. As stated before, they gather the knowledge we were given at the beginning of the project from the previous work made by GRIP. These first part can be considered as an introduction to the project, therefore still too general to base requirements on. In the following chapter the reader will be able to find the additional information which will create the basis for the relaxation space’s ideation. In the first two weeks of the project further explorations have been conducted to gather more insight to apply in the building of the prototype. The exploration have been directed in connecting the natural element to the office space, investigating the Philips Design working environment through interview with employees and in gathering knowledge on relaxation the interviews to relaxation experts Hans van Os and Spike Ebbing.

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3.a Natural healing & Biophilia Further exploration has been conducted after the

evolved in a biocentric world and this is what raised in

workshop on which is the effect of natural environments

ourselves this instinctive attraction.

on individuals and how to implement the office environment

In few words our growth and development as living beings

with those features.

on the Earth has been pushed and pulled by sensory

The work of Atchley, Strayer and Atchley [2012] for

interactions with what was surrounding us. Proportions and

instance proves that the exposition to natural stimuli (low-

spatial properties of natural elements and landscape have

arousing, positive emotions generating) combined with a

been so important and so present throughout our evolution

deprivation of technology and consequently to our usual

that human beings have a biological need for connection

way of living (filled with sudden events, sirens, phones,

with nature on physical, psychological and social level that

alarms…) has a large benefit on our cognitive reasoning.

affects well-being, productivity and social relationship.

Participants were involved into four days full immersion in

What Terrapin does, is to bring scientific evidences

nature hiking experience, without having any contact with

and economic figures in support of the thesis

technology. Afterwards they were asked to complete the

application of biophilic design (in offices, hospitals, school

Remote Associates Test (RAT) by Mednick [Mednick,1968]

etc.) creates benefit both for people using/living the space

which measures creative thinking and insight-problem

and, consequently, on the investments of the company/

solving. The results of this group have been compared with

society.

that the

others not being exposed to natural environment, scoring an impressive results, an increase of creativity and problem

Another example which highlights the beneficial effect that

solving by 50%.

nature has on the body is Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” which is an ancient Japanese practice of healing through

On the same page is also Economics of Biophilia, a 2012

restorative walks within a natural environment, most of

report of Terrapin Bright Green, American environmental

the time a forest. The scientific value has been given to it

consultancy and strategy planner which in this document

by Ohtsuka et al [Ohtsuka et al, 1998] which monitored

focuses on giving economic evidences of the success of

diabetics patients walking for 3-6 km in the forest resulting

biophilic design.

in a decrease of the glucose in their blood by 39.7 %.

According to Wilson and Kellert, the authors of “The

The effect is given by volatile and non-volatile compound

Biophilia Hypothesis”[Kellert and Wilson, 1993], Biophilia is

that plants release named phytoncides that, if inhaled, have

“the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other

the effect of reducing blood pressure and stabilize the

living organism. Innate means hereditary and hence part of

nervous activity. It is also very interesting to highlight the

ultimate human nature”.

importance of daylight in relation to human body responses:

Wilson does not bring evidences to support its thesis but

several studies have been conducted on how daylight

claims on a pure logic reasoning that human beings have

influences eye functioning and our circadian rhythm.

begun their lives on hearth thousands of years ago and that,

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for more than 90 % of this time, our species have been

The cyrcadian rhythm is the inherent clock that regulates

dealing with “crucial aspects of natural history”; our brain

our hormonal activities within a cycle of approximately

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twenty-four hours and that has been largely observed in many living organism such as fungi, plants, animals and some bacteria. These levels are regulated by our body on several factors, one of these is the color changing of the light within the course of a whole day. The spectrum of daylight varies in gradients from yellow in the morning to blue at midday to red in the late afternoon; the exposition to the right amount of natural light at the right wave-length balances the secretion of serotonin and melatonin stabilizing our sleep-awake pattern [Terrapin Bright Green, 2012], [Boyce, 2009].

Fig. 07. Volatile compounds released by plants effect positively blood presseure and nervous activities

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Fig 08. The Present, a seasonal clock by m ss ng p eces

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How then to apply these findings to the design of a space?

to look out from an elevated point of view over a clear space), “Refuge” (finding ourselves at ease being in a small,

Terrapin presents three cardinal pillars for the application

protected and enclosed area), “Enticement” (the desire of

of biophilic based design, on three different level of

exploring unseen spaces) and Risk/Peril (evoking pleasurable

abstraction from literal to conceptual : Nature in the space,

distress through dynamic activities).

Natural Analogues and Nature of the Space [Terrapin Bright Green, 2012].

An addition to these three concepts, the five requirements for basic functioning of Kellert [Kellert, 2008], complement

Nature in the space indicates the use of plants, water and

the view on how to design a space which presents the

animals within the environment: examples of applications

lowest threshold of stressors as possible:

might be potted plants or flowers, fountains or water features like aquariums, courtyards gardens or even just the view of nature outside the building. If nature is displayed practically, especially with dynamic/moving natural elements, users get directly connected with natural world and benefit from the strongest biophilic effect. Natural Analogues shifts the attention from literally

• Need for change (temperature, air quality, light, etc.) • Ability to act on the environment and see the effects • Meaningful stimuli (a stagnant atmosphere enhances stressors, a fresh environment reduces them) • One’s own territory to provide safety, identity and protection • View of the outside world

displaying nature, basing its effect on materials and patterns that evoke natural elements. Four distinctive feature might be used for application: representational artwork,

Fig 09. ING headquarters in Beijlmer, Amsterdam. Biophilic example

ornamentation, biophormic forms, natural materials. Displaying pictures of landscape or natural features, designing elements that recall organic patterns, introducing organic-shaped furniture or interior elements, implementing the use of wood or stone, might be concrete examples of application. Nature of the Space investigates how human beings respond psychologically and physiologically to different space configurations. The dimensions of the space surrounding us and its configuration have strong influence on our emotional state, what Nature of the Space targets is the instinctive and primal attraction for certain natural space configurations to extract emotional features and reproduce them. Practical application for Nature of the space are the concept of “Prospect” (having the chance

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3.b Philips Design as case of study Such as discussed earlier the office environment might represent one of the main causes of work related stress and hence, since the relaxation room will be built in the Philips Design building, more in depth insights are needed to understand how Philips’ employees perceive their working space in terms of architectural organization and social composition. It is obvious to point out the fact that each profession requires its own working spaces, varying in flexibility, facilities, relaxing areas and so on. It also has to be said that designers are usually, due to their attitude, more open to try new ideas/concepts/configurations than other professionals; this will hopefully be an influential factor for convincing people to actually use the space.

On the other hand though, this architectural configuration generates a very dynamic environment , the feeling of being in the middle of the flow and be controlled might arise. In addition, the lack of personal space /ownership on your working environment influence the feeling of being autonomous, a vital component in our well-being.

Fig 10. Philips Design main working space configuration, the atelier.

Danielsson and Bodin researched on how the office design relates to stress conditions of employees and distinguished seven types of office space depending on their architectural features and functional features [Danielsson and Bodin 2010]: this distinction helped us to classify Philips Design’s building and to define its strengths/weaknesses. Philips Design's building offers different spatial solution: the largest portion of space is taken by four big ateliers in which is suggested a flexible desk policy (people should not have a fixed working spot, anybody could potentially get any space wanted) even if it is not applied strictly; several smaller rooms with different dimensions are available for functional activities (meetings, workshop etc. ). According to Danielsson and Bodin therefore Philips Design might be placed in between a large open-plan office (more than 24 people per room) and a flex-office. This configurations are perceived to be positive for group bonding and co-working offering more freedom for the individual to choose their spot or even work outside the office.

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Further insights on Philips Design environment has been gathered through an open interview with seven Philips employees. The interviews have been conducted between February 26th and February 28th 2013 and have been recorded on video. The interviews did not aim to grasp insights on potential design qualities or principles but let people reflect on their daily life and work. It was indeed important for us to understand what the target group of potential users thought; the results of their answers would have influenced the design requirements for the space. Participants, covering different roles within Philips, have been asked to answer seven open questions regarding either physical and mental wellness but also about social environment and collective behavior within Philips Design. These information have been also useful to build an idea on the connection between working space and social relationship within the office, which can be crucial to understand one of the sources of work related stress. Following the questions and a summary of the main findings will be presented.

Work related stress has to do with multiple factors such as personal habits and attitude, body shape. It is perceived to be not just a personal problem but a problem within the whole organization; people do not talk too much about it and try to stay away from it. Work related stress is associated with time pressure, insomnia, stigma, but also with physical pain or fuzziness. Awareness and social help are perceived to be important to limit the problem.

Describe your personal view and experience in stress reduction techniques. Just two participants were effectively practicing meditation or paced breathing regularly, they said they like to take some time for themselves and for their balance. Yoga was practiced by three people that use to do it to slow down after rushing and chasing the whole day at work. Shifting attention on hobbies, friends, sports also appeared to work quite good in tackling the arousal of stress. Prevention and the possibility to share personal concerns with others, instead of treating symptoms with relaxation techniques were cited as a way to reduce stressful conditions as well.

Describe your version of mental wellness Mental wellness is perceived in general to be a balance between body and mind. To achieve it is important to understand personal limits and capabilities but also be aware on what to do if things go wrong, for instance when occurs burn out. Other important factors described related to mental wellness were the skills to clear your thoughts, for example separating tasks and focusing on one thing at the time, but also to be able to shift the mind to other activities. Be aware of what are the thoughts in the back of your head that have to be kept quiet is another important way of set the balance.

Describe the ďŹ rst association that you have with work related stress.

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Describe your behavior during a working day, patterns and/ or daily routines. Many interviewed brought up the fact that during the day it is really easy to get distracted, in addition jumping between different tasks and projects makes it difficult to concentrate properly. The majority described the fact of leaving the office with the work done as a way to keep stress away, even if of course it depends from period to period. It is interesting to notice how lunch is considered to be an important moment of the day in which they like to take a bit of time for themselves and therefore be back at work more efficiently. On the other hand some others recognize the hours after lunch to be the one more exposed to post lunch deep, hence less productive. Several routines have

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been cited such as to have a walk across the garden instead of walking inside the ateliers or to have a coffee in the morning such as starting of the day. Middle/end afternoon is also recognized by some participants to be a critic moment for concentration and focus on work; what they usually do is to have a small snack or a coffee-break.

Describe the social culture/interaction/relations at Philips Design. In general the community is perceived to be welcoming and quite friendly, everybody is able to approach any other people without shame. Employees know each other but for someone the open-space configuration does not give identity to people generating subgroups divided by tasks. For some others the social culture is flat and not very strong, even if they know each other there is not very deep personal contact. People is focused on their screens and on their work, that is why it is important to perform small activities together such as taking a break outside in the garden or getting a coffee. It has been also recognized that the family feeling has been lost and that face to face interaction and social events might be strong incentives to strengthen the community.

Describe what would make you try something new In order to try something new, some people want see the benefit, others like just to try and see if it fits their life. Many answered that it has to be relatively easy but not obvious, trigger their curiosity, perhaps even challenge a bit the rules. Have a person to share the new experience with was also indicated as an important factor to reduce the threshold. Fig 11. Philips Design's yard, shared space and meeting point

Describe the ofďŹ ce landscape, which are the spots you like and why. Philips Design offers different micro-environments which are task oriented and enable people to have different spaces for different project, this is perceived in general to be a positive aspect of the architectural landscape. The drawback is that combining different activities next to each other creates disturbing noises or overcrowded situations. The organization of the desks in the atelier is perceived to be too strict and therefore not good, people is just too close and often they are obliged to wear headphones. Being in an open space they have the feeling to be exposed and distracted. Ambient with daylight (garden/back of the ateliers) are considered the most pleasant to use, wooden makes the connection with nature.

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3.c Interviews with stress experts An open interview with experts in relaxation techniques has been organized as well. These set of questions have been developed for the first meeting with the experts Hans Van Os and Spike Ebbing on February 28th. They are aimed to harvest their knowledge in relaxation techniques and treatments, to therefore implement it in new design features that can be applied in the prototype’s building. It is also interesting to understand whether they use any techniques coming from the natural world and which is their set of reference in this field. Spike Ebbing is a GGZE physiotherapist specialized in weight and health problems, Hans van Os (Ontspanningstraining.nl) is a relaxation trainer which makes use of relaxation techniques to heal his patient. The answers have been collected and summarized as follows; in the text, the main findings which will be influential for the creation of the final design will be highlighted.

Physiological time frame: all the physical activities of our body are regulated by hormones, time to wake up or fall asleep are just examples.., are there moments during the day in which the body is scientiďŹ cally well prepared to receive a relaxation treatment or to execute a paced breathing exercise? When can be achieved the biggest effect? Before going to sleep/after lunch is a good period because the body is ready for natural relaxing (Cyrcadian rhythm). The problem with practice relaxation techniques in those moments is that it can result really easy to accomplish. In those moments, indeed, the body is already by nature prone to relax hence it does not train itself to face bigger traumas or worse conditions. Hans van Os suggested a progressive increase of difficulty in the exercises such as he uses to do with his clients: the first sessions are organized in his studio, a quiet

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environment, but after a step by step approach to sessions and self-organized practice, patients are able to relax in the working environment as well. He states that at the end of the training they can pass from a state of arousal to a state of relaxation in just one minute and a half.

Do you suggest to your patients any speciďŹ c body position for paced breathing and meditation? Usually people are seated during the relaxation sessions but it depends from person to persons; it is also interesting to observe how people change their behavior session after session, getting to know their body and how it responds to the exercises. It is therefore common that patience change their position as more they practice.

From your experience, is there any trick you use to get your patients at ease? Are there questions/ topics that make people detach from their body/space? The main driver is to let them focus on positive aspects, it is more important for them to understand what they could gain with the treatments instead of scaring or make them nervous with an explanation on the negative effects of their habits. Another method that works is to take them seriously, to respect and welcome their thoughts and feelings. Judgements and/or prejudices have to be avoided.

How important is the environment for a session? Furniture, a certain lighting set, sound Furniture makes the difference at the beginning, moreover for fresh-men or sceptical people. A couzy environment or the feeling of safety can be truly important; the feeling of owning a particular spot or the control over the situation are factors that can make people change their mind, therefore there is a need to create those situations using what we have, light for example can play an important role. The environment as said before though is important at the beginning, after a while it can become also a noisy workplace.

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What are the reasons that make people seek treatment? Often they are sent by their companies and they result to be skeptical, but it also happens that people realize they feel bad and connect their physical illness with mental illness.

Group dynamics: What are the differences from a personal treatment and a group session? Both have their advantages and drawbacks: a group session helps to tackle the stigma of stress and to share experiences and problems with other people in the same conditions; a collective support is created and it is easier to create small social ritual that can make the experience even more useful. The risk of group sessions is the variety of people that participate to it: it is possible indeed to find during a session a person that is not interested or does not believe in the treatment itself, this could be disturbing and even irritating for the other people in the group. Personal sessions on the other hand are very effective because their scope is of course limited and trust is built between patient and doctor.

What are the most important factors needed to relieve stress successfully? Awareness and constant prevention, overcome stigma and prejudice, accurate measurement, open discussion on the topic

and after a treatment), could be beneficial to alleviate stress? Some people really look for the measurement and that becomes the trigger that leads them to try again the treatment. If they are not monitored they don’t see the benefit of it. On the other hand, for other people a scientific measurement is not important at all: to avoid it is also a way to reduce the shame they will have in doing it and they are happy anyways if they see an improvement in their state of mind or in their physical conditions.

Nature Inspired Design: for many people the contact with nature (physical or figurative) can be a powerful distressing factor. What could be the reason for that? What is the essence that makes a natural experience relaxing? Do you make any reference to nature during your treatment? Hand van Os uses pictures of natural landscape and edited a video of a guided relaxation exercise where are shown nature’s images while his voice explains to the patience what to do. Spike Ebbing uses to bring his client outside and take them for a short walk into the nature; he says that just the changing in space, the temperature, the wind the smell, the sensation of nature around them are important to achieve a positive result.

Constant training and practice is really important, relaxation techniques indeed have to be performed for a while (Hans van Os suggest a 7 weeks long treatment). In doing relaxation techniques, like in most of the activities, practice and perseverance are the best way to achieve results.

Placebo effect: Stress is something subjective which is triggered by both internal and external factors; Do you think that a pleasant experience, even if not completely results driven (such as a stress level measurement before

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3.e Form exploration Aside to the interviews and the literature exploration, sketches and small mock up models have been drawn and built to experiment with form as well. The inspirations were mainly coming from natural world such as natural shelters, organic shaped element and animals nest/pods. A collection of products and pictures was also created to empower our thoughts with visual clues. These explorations have been useful to visualize the first ideas and to start realizing which were the difficulties in building a prototype of the dimensions we were working on.

Fig 12. Exploration through sketching

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Fig 13. Exploration through physical mock-ups

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04. Functions & Principles Together with the first sketches and mock ups we decided to put on paper rules and directions on which to build the concept upon. To do this we looked back to the exploration phase collecting the main insight from the people we spoke with (experts, GGZE, Philips employees) and converting their ideas on relaxation in needs/ wishes for the space. Meanwhile, to implement Nature Inspired Design as well, we explored Biomimicry Life’s principles which have been translated in design principles for the space. The combination of functions and life principles represents the foundation on which the concept has been designed.

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4.a List of functions The list of functions is a natural outcome of the reelaboration of the insights collected during the first phase of the project. Clearly a big influence on this is given by the insights of the previous GRIP’S work and by January’s kick off workshop. Some functions are also, already, inspired by Life Principles which have been a constant argument of discussion since the beginning. The functions have been prioritized in Head, Needed and Wanted. Head function is one and one only, is the main focus of the project. Needed functions are the characteristics that must be implemented in the final solution. Wanted functions are additional features which are interesting to develop but that are less important for the final result and they therefore get less priority. If all the needed functions have been developed in the final prototype, not all the wanted functions got the same result. For example aroma therapy was discarded because of the very personal perception that people have on smells: even if it seems that some smells have a healing effect on mind and body, they are perceived very differently from people and the risk of unpleasant smell ruining the whole experience was very high.

HeadFunction Reduce stress

NeededFunctions

Accommodate multiple people Support sitting Support meditation Support paced breathing Support light Support sound Support music Support sound Isolate the space

WantedFunctions

Allow back support Support standing Allow multiple activities Allow personal session Be responsive Be dynamic Provide feedback User presence (inside, outside) Frequency of use Be interactive with surroundings Offer focus point(s)

Fig XX: Pandora, where nature is responsive to the inhabitants creating a relationship of mutual benefi t

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4.b Nature inspired design_mimicking nature without copying As mentioned in the first part, a natural feeling can be implemented within a space on different levels of abstraction. What we wanted to achieve was to mimic nature without actually copying it, providing users with the feeling of being absorbed in a natural environment without displaying any real natural element. This design idea recalls the concept of “Nature of Space”, instinctive and primal attraction for certain space configuration to extract emotional features and reproduce them. But then, which are the guidelines to follow or to get inspiration from? A practice example of product that mirrors the interactions and the effect we want to achieve is Philips Wake-up light. It is a night-stand light that has been inspired by the sunrise and that dims softly when it is time to wake up the user: it has a natural behaviour but it does not show nature at

Fig. 14. Philips Wake-Up light

all, it is easy to interact with because it is designed to be controlled with just few natural gestures.

Fig 15. Dune by studio Roosegarde

Another example but on a different scale is Dune, a public interactive landscape realized by Studio Roosegarde which interacts with human behavior. This hybrid of nature and technology is created with bushes of sticks with a led at the top that light up according to the sounds and motion of passing visitors. The success of these two examples comes due to their ability to address our curiosity towards something we are naturally used to, something we always knew, because developed in thousands of years of human kind’s evolution. Philippe Ball however would say that they explain just the “how” and not the “why” (Ball, 2012) we are attracted by them. In order to get a deeper understanding of the "why" nature does things as it does, we dived into Biomimicry and its Life’s Principles. These have been very useful to extract the essence out of nature creating a common language and a base for the final concept.

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4.c Biomimicry and Life’s principles Each living being is in constant symbiosis with the environment. Biomimicry has been defined by Janine Benyus such as:

“The science that studies nature's models and then imitates or takes inspiration from these designs and processes to solve human problems.” [Benyus 1997] The scientific definition sounds although less inspiring that the one she gave to the bookseller when she was deciding in which shelf her first book should have gone, which is told in the Biomimicry Primer a resource handbook available on Biomimicry.net:

“I was searching the shelves for the spine, always a breath-held-in moment for a writer. I checked the nature section, environment, design, and engineering, but it just wasn’t there. Before I could slink away, the bookseller appeared, and I asked him where it might be shelved. He came back with a perfectly normal but impossible question: “What’s it about?” After you finish a book, a pack of ideas race to your lips, nipping and barking to be the first one out. It’s hard to choose. “OK. It’s about looking to nature for inspiration for new inventions,” I blurted. “It’s learning to live gracefully on this planet by consciously emulating life’s genius. It’s not really technology or biology; it’s the technology of biology. It’s making a fiber like a spider, or lassoing the sun’s energy like a leaf.” The growing alarm on his face confirmed it; I was postpartum and probably shouldn’t be out. Then he lifted his palms as if weighing two packages and said something I will never forget. “Look lady,

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you’ve got Nature and you’ve got Technology; you’ve got to choose one.” He was referring to the category scheme in the store, but I realized that the deep, deep separation between those two ideas in our culture was why biomimicry was squirming to be born." Such as Benyus explains in Kellert’s “Biophilic Design” [Kellert et al. 2008], Biomimicry is a natural part of the bigger picture of Biophilia: it aims to learn from nature’s winning lessons, borrowing design cues and strategies in a “conscious emulation of life’s genius”. Biomimicry Life’s principles are those design lessons: they translate strategies and rules that nature have been developing for 3,8 billion years to survive and prosper, into design principles that can be applied to design sustainable products or systems. Life’s principles can be considered such as a collection of patterns found among living beings on the Earth. They represent a design tool to inspire designer’s work through the understanding on how nature develop strategies to evolve and survive. Life’s principles have been developed by the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute, a no-profit organization that promotes the study and imitation of nature’s efficient designs, bringing together scientists, engineers, architects and innovators who can use those models to create sustainable technologies [Biomimicry.net]

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4.d Life’s principles translated in design principles A milestone for the design of the relaxation space has been the analysis of Life’s Principles and their translation in the project’s language, which was developing around the early explorations. The translated principles have grown up in design features of the relaxation space and have always been, throughout the whole project, a fixed insight to reference to. Even during the building of the prototype, referring or thinking about Life’s principles have been helpful in problem solving and money/efforts saving. Even if all the principles are equally important and they have been approached with the same emphasis, it has to be said that “Evolve to survive” and “Adapt to changing conditions” are the ones that probably will characterize the final prototype more than the others. Those are indeed the ones that more than others influenced our ideas when designing the space and its behaviour: having a space which could adapt itself and change according to what happens around it was always in our head during the designing phase; having a space which could evolve, grow and modify in time like it was a living being is a very fascinating concept which we brought along during the whole project.

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Evolve to survive

Use life-friendly chemistry

•it will generate new experiences every time, the space will have a generated behaviour that will change depending on which use people make of it

•No use of chemicals will be made

•it will change constantly during its iteration benefiting from user test insights, the prototype will be tested and implemented with the comments of experts and users to deliver a better experience every time

Adapt to changing conditions •it have to be suitable for different kind of spaces and offices •the experience will evolve as more it is used, people will learn how to interact with the prototype and it will learn from people adapting its characteristics to them •It will be implemented with different media (light/ sound)

Be resources efficient (Material and Energy) •it will be designed to support multiple activities •materials will be selected depending on their functions •it will be easily dismantled in original materials, in building the prototype the use of glue and not reversible processes will be limited as much as possible

Integrate development with growth •it will stand on its own and it will regenerate/ grow without external input, no activation will be needed, it will be always available to use •It will be designed to be modular

Be locally attuned & responsive •it will collect data/feedback exploiting seasonality of stress level, it will have an historic memory which will be used to automatically change its behaviour depending on the moment/period •it will be responsive, delivering feedback of user’s presence

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4.e Additional features In addition to Functions and Principles, some features have been added after the interviews. The explanations of the experts and the needs of the employees have indeed generated new knowledge which we wanted to incorporate as well in the design features that would have shaped the concept.

The space has to be clearly different from the surroundings. The space has to be detached from the working environment and do not have anything in common with it neither location nor formal language. A “tricky” entrance where people have to bend to get in could represent an easy but effective solution.

Easy to reach, simple to interact with. It will have to require almost no effort to get to it and then get in. when people are stressed it is difficult to let them take any kind of choice; even the idea to leave their desk or change their routine during a break could be already enough to change their mind. The “menu” of the space if there has to be one, will have to be as much intuitive as possible.

The space has to look like a “safe” place. People that suffer stress conditions seek for a context/ environment that allows them to feel at ease and not in danger. It is important for them to be able to identify a space around them that avoid over-stimulation or sudden distractions.

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5.a Framework To better understand the direction taken to generate the concept we the framework in which the concept has been developed has to be introduced. The platform of application we were given at the beginning of the project, which came from the previous work of GRIP and was further developed during the workshop, can be explained with this scheme:

trigger > diagnosis > treatment A triggering element, positioned at the workplace, helps people to take a break alarming them in case of presence of stress’ symptoms; a diagnosis is made either at the desk, or in a public spot of the office (coffee corner), or even right outside the relaxation space, to enable people to track their status and measure their improvement afterwards; a treatment (which is meant to be in the relaxation space) helps workers to release stress and re-balance their values having a peaceful moment away from the working space. Different elements/prototypes should address the different stages of the process. The problem of the framework is the fact that, even if it might be useful to scientifically measure your stress level and eventually suggesting you a solution, it uses the same language that produces stress. Stress is indeed still considered to be a personal problem, an itchy argument you do not want to talk about, a burn out is something that will always happen to someone else and the less you speak about it the better it will be. Adding a new trigger to the bunch we already have in our daily life (phones, alarms, e-mails, communicator...) might not be enough to convince people to leave their workspace, and even become just another stressor; introducing a public spot where to measure stress level might just produce the effect of increasing the stigmatisation of people using it, they will be ashamed to use it, even if they need it, resulting in people careless; a personal identification within

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a system that measures your bio-levels might be perceived as a way (for the management) to control the access to the relaxation space or track stress levels by period. In addition to what described so far, the framework is also suggesting a result driven approach, displaying to people their status before and after their treatment. If the relaxation space will not give straight away an improved health condition, people might be demotivated in using it another time. In our opinion these conditions would therefore leave people alone to deal with their problems, not tackling at all the issue of stress as stigma. We believe that like most of the problems, stress is an issue that is difficult to solve alone, hence the focus has been shifted on a more collective approach which is the following:

awareness > experience > feedback The main difference with the previous framework is that it shifts the focus from a personal approach, that would have required measuring devices and public display of users’ stress conditions, to a broader approach that embraces the whole community of employees helping each other for a common well-being. The trigger is replaced with an unconventional awareness campaign (avoid management e-mails) which will inform employees on the importance of mental health related to physical health and working conditions. The campaign will advertise the relaxation space as well, hence employees will get to know the space and what they can get out of it; the space has to be attractive and welcoming in order to trigger their curiosity and convince them to try. Experience stays for what users are going to get within the space, the actual use of it. The last step of the framework is feedback that in this

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case means feedback to the community and among the community. The idea is to encourage people to use the relaxation space together, talk about their problems, share experiences and create personal but also social rituals with and within the space. Why it is social accepted to take a break to go to the toilet or to the coffee machine and it is not to take a bit of time for ourselves to relax if we are too stressed? The community and the management have to endorse the relaxation space such as facility of the office environment, tolerating, accepting and encouraging people to use it and get benefit out of it. The relaxation space will become a shared space to create and then enhance a common wellness within the work place; mutual support among colleagues targeting collective health and well-being is the main driver of change.

The whole concept can be hence summarised in two clarifying sentences that explain what is the aim of the relaxation space and which is its behaviour:

• Tackle work related stress with a collective attitude to achieve a common wellness, eliminating the social stigma of a personal issue with a new social ritual • Mimic nature’s behaviour within a space that adapts its characteristics to the surrounding conditions and evolves depending on users' needs CO N F I D E N T I A L

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5.b Concept development Principles, functions and inspirations came together in the

The independency of the blinds and the 4x4 grid enable

need of creating a responsive space which would adapt its

several configurations within the space that can be

dimensions to the users’ needs, with a personal behaviour

occupied by different people at the same time, allowing

inspired by life’s principles. After have explored different

both personal and shared experiences. The installation will

ways of implementing such a space, the mock-up model of

indeed enhance the social attitude which is designed for,

the relaxation space has been created.

creating shared spaces among neighbouring unit;

The basic idea is to create a space which is shielded and

occupants will also be able to get until four units of space

divided in single units by blinds.

by themselves just standing on the common vertex of

The blinds roll up and down individually to adapt the size of

the squared units. The light comes from above, creating a

the space to the number of people or to the space required

colour-wash effect over the blinds and within the space.

by them.

The height of the structure is designed to be three meters

The blinds are activated by the presence of people in the

in order to create the perception of “looking up in the sky”,

space sensed through the floor: if nobody is standing or

but also to fit the whole system in a standard ceiling. Once

walking in the space, it will just appear alive but empty to

someone is inside the space he/she will be able to sit or lie

give immediately an idea of what is there. People give life to

and relax following the breathing of the coloured light and

the space stepping in it.

listening to the sound in the background.

Fig 16. The mock up model built with carton plume and felt

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single

Fig 17. A view of the space closd with the curtains rolled down

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With the physical concept, also the core elements of the software which would have defined the behaviour of the space were developed. The idea behind it was mimicking nature as perfect environment to spend time within, even if not controllable or customizable. The “motto” or the “Interaction vision” if we want to call it so, was: “ One can choose to go out in nature to the seaside or to the mountains but, once you are there, you get what nature offers, always enjoying it anyways”. Meaning was: “Watch out! You don’t have control over what nature wants or does, therefore do not expect to have it in the space”. This was the stage of the process in which we were diverging from the idea of users being monitored; with this decisions we just kept on surfing the control-free wave. The space, like nature, has its rules inspired by life principles. Depending on where people will stand, blinds will roll up and down evemtually creating a space of one (center of a unit), two (on the boarder of two neighbouring units) or four units(in the node of four units). Neighbouring occupied units will always create a shared the space, defining room for several configurations and shared experiences. In the illustration are presented few configurations. No hints will be given to the users about these rules, they will have to explore the space little by little, like is usually done for nature. A process of exploration, learning and adaptation is required to the participants approaching the space for the first times. This might result in the space behaving apparently weird at the beginning: rolling up a blind between two participants, creating a shared space in which relax together or have a chat; giving for some strange reason a bit more space this time that I was lying, etc. It has to be a smart space, the only interface will be our body. It has to be so pleasant to experience that it will appear always just right, like nature.

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Fig 18. Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by Adam. Dots represent people, blue areas represent active/shared spaces. Fig 19. A view from inside

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06. Thinking through making The mock up model represents the first step towards the creation of the prototype of the relaxation space. After its realization approximately one month was left to build the final working prototype for evaluations and tests. The deadline for the building phase was set indeed for April 1st when the prototype was supposed to be ready for the public. We were also aware that before the launch of the relaxation space an awareness campaign should have been prepared to inform employees on what they will have experienced in the space and its effect. Hence, meanwhile the relaxation space was being built, the campaign was designed by Helle Hullerup in order to have it ready on time. Once we started thinking about how to build the fullscale prototype we had to start facing some issues too: Philips Design moved to the current location on the HTC soil on January 2012, therefore they are in a phase of understanding how to use the space at its

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best and some laboratories are still under construction (like the Experience Lab we used to showcase the relaxation space). The new location does not have a workshop where to build physical prototypes (apart from small electronics), nor tools and machinery for rapid prototyping or laser cutting. All the materials and tools we needed were bought for the first time. In addition the lack of a vehicle to transport materials to HTC has been a hitch for the whole project. This project was meant to evolve through several iterations and to include a big part of exploration and research through making. Therefore, this has been the method defining the building of all the prototypes: have a concept to develop, try different solutions in terms of materials and ways of making it, implement the best solution in terms of feasibility, time left, budget and coherency with the concept. Each decision taken has gone through all these steps and eventually implemented in the final prototype of the relaxation space.

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6.a 1st prototype, HTC 33 basement In order to have space to build and analyze the first

found the concept interesting, especially the effect of the

prototypes, we decided to use a room in the basement of

light on the curtains, but it was clear from the beginning

the building where we had the possibility to explore and

that the final space would have had to be more “cozy” and

be a bit more “chaotic” than in any other location upstairs.

comfortable than the one presented to them.

In this phase little attention has been given to details, the

The most important feature that had to be changed was

first prototype was built to evaluate the concept in terms

the dimension of the unit, considered a bit too small to

of dimensions and most important sensations delivered by

accommodate one person. Each unit indeed was supposed

the space. The “vital space” had to be tested to avoid the

to host one seated person. The space of 1,2m x 1,2m

feeling of being enclosed in a small cage.

did not have enough room for that basic feature, it was

A prototype of a double unit has been created; each unit

therefore decided to increase the dimension of each unit to

was 1,2m x 1,2m and the ceiling was 3 meters high.

1,5m x 1,5m.

The ceiling was made with a frame of carton plume (very common here in Philips Design to support posters/plotted)

The mock-up and the first prototype were presented also

on which we stretched a layer of white fabric to diffuse light

the 7th of March during the meeting of the Nature Inspired

and, at the same time, give a soft feeling to it.

Design consortium. This meeting was very important for

On top of that Philips Living Colors have been placed.

the continuation of the project because after have spoken

These lamps allowed to easy change the ceiling light in

with Geanne Van Arkel and Helmich Jousma from Interface,

terms of hue and brightness with a remote control. This

company worldwide leader in designing and producing

simple set of light enabled us to make a sketchy prototype

sustainable carpet tiles, they decided to partner with Philips

of the lighting effect we wanted to achieve even if still

providing sub-floor and carpet for the installation. Those

manually controlled.

elements have been developed for the final prototype in

The curtains were built using brown rough paper, of

collaboration with them and installed on spot by their

course they were not moving but one could still get the

personnel.

perception of the space inside when they were rolled down and the color-wash effect on them. Height and width of the curtains have been adjusted multiple times to reduce the gaps among them and between curtains and floor. A set of speakers have been added on the floor to implement sound effect as well: ambient and nature sounds were played at the beginning to enhance the relaxing effect of the pacing colored light. Even if in a very early stage of development the first prototype was shown to the experts Hans Van Os and Erik Kuijpers during a meeting to get feedback: both of them

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Fig 20. Building the top with stretching fabric

Fig 21. The first prototype hanging in the basement

Fig 22. A view from inside

Fig 23. Philips Living Color was mounted on the top to light the space

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6.b 2nd prototype, HTC 33 basement After having built the first prototype and assessed its feasibility it was now time for a new iteration. It has to be considered that the driving idea of the prototype was to build everything by ourselves: frame and top, curtains (fabric/sticks/motors), sensors for the floor. The second prototype was meant to be one solid and full working unit (top, curtains and floor) to have an overview of the single piece before starting with the full scale. At this point the dimensions of the final prototype had been scaled to a 3x3 grid because of the little time left to develop and build it. For the second prototype, the frame for the top was built with metal profiles and hanged in the ceiling of the basement. A test curtain was built with felt rolled up on a wooden stick; the curtain hence was connected to a motor that

Fig 24. The metal frame of the second prototype

made it roll up and down; both for motor and curtains, specific fittings with bearings were designed to keep

Fig 25. Designing the fi ttings for the motors

everything in place on the metal frame and laser-cut in mdf. Meanwhile different types of stepper motor with different power were tested to understand which one could support the weight of the curtains. A wooden frame with stretched fabric (to diffuse the light) was built and fixed underneath the metal one with Velcro strips. The first experiments for the sensing floor were made as well, producing one carpet tile with hand-made sensors (built with conductive foam) embedded in it.

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Fig 26. Mock up of the fi tting with bearings

Fig 27. Test for the oor with conductive foam and metal grid

Fig 28. The laser-cut fi ttings for motor and blind

Fig 29. Light diffuser in wood and fabric + Velcro strips

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6.c From hand-crafting to outsourcing Since the final prototype was supposed to be built in the

Reliability

Experience Lab, a CAD model of the relaxation space was

The final prototype would have been tested and showcased for at least 2 months. All the components would have had to work well for the whole period of use, or at least require as less maintenance as possible. Using ready-made components would decrease the chances of having the installation falling apart after a while or becoming useless because under reparation.

prepared and presented to the people responsible for it. The project was approved and, after have showed the early prototypes built in the basement, we agreed on developing some elements of the final prototype together with them exploiting Philips’ suppliers and outsourcing to them few components. The factors that lead us to this decision were:

The decision to outsource the building of the top frame and

Safety

to buy brand new curtains to fit into the frame, created a

Since the main part of the installation (top part, blinds,

series of compromises. Because of the costs for buying

lights, electronics, speakers) would be enclosed in a

and installing the material, it was decided to further reduce

structure hanging from the ceiling, it was important to

the grid from a 3x3 to a 2x2. This reduced the number

consider some safety precautions in order to do not hurt

of curtains to 12 and the number of units to 4, limiting

anybody. This, combined with the fact that for hanging the

the amount of possible combinations in the space but

structure were needed proper skills and tools, were the

increasing the reliability of the system. The curtains we

main driver of the decision.

were proposed to buy had a limited amount of trims and colors to choose from, which dissolved our idea of having

Time left

a soft finishing on them. It also spoiled the hours spent

At this point of the process it was already clear that the

on searching for someone selling 80 meters of felt for a

deadline for the building phase would have been postponed,

reasonable prize; I was close to make a deal for 24 pieces

in fact just two weeks were left and the time was not

(each one measuring 135x300 cm) of 2mm thick felt from

enough to finish all the work; anyways it had to be finished

UK.. addition to this, blinds’ speed and acceleration could

as soon as possible. In addition to this, to build everything

not be controlled or changed: they were either moving up

by ourselves would have required much more time than

or down at the same speed, cutting off many possibilities for

what we could get.

a more fluid and dynamic movement/interaction.

Accuracy Hand-made solutions are often fascinating but intrinsically different by definition. An installation of these dimensions, composed by different modules which have to be the same to work properly, requires a high level of accuracy which was not achievable with the available tools.

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Fig 30. Render of the space 3x3 configuration

Fig 31. The space with curtains rolled down

Fig 32. Shaping the space depending on user's position

Fig 33. A view of the space from inside

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6.d Final prototype, HTC 33 Experience Lab The building of the last prototype started with a bit of delay and took longer than expected at the beginning, mainly due

The sensing floor

to the waiting time and delays of the supplier that slowed

Such as explained in the Concept chapter the floor is where

down the flow, but also because the whole installation

the magic starts. In the floor indeed are embedded sensors

has been worked out (hardware, software, project

that trigger the whole system: once someone steps on it,

management, search and acquisition of the right material,

the relaxation space passes from an inactive to an active

finishing etc.) by me and Adam only. Looking back now

state, rolling down the blinds corresponding to the stepped

though, considering the dimension, the complexity and the

areas.

number of elements composing the installation, I am very

Most of the elements of the floor have been provided from

satisfied for the final result that took just one month and a

Interface which collaborated with us to get the best out of

half to be ready.

their products. The floor of the installation had to be slightly lifted from

In this report will be mainly explained the building of the

the rest of the Experience Lab, first to avoid the feeling

physical features of the relaxation space, because it has

of relaxing on the floor, secondly to leave room for the

been

electric cables passing underneath it.

my prime focus within the project: as said I was

more involved in the actual building of the space, while Adam Henriksson’s work was focused on electronics and software. To explain how it has been built, it will not be used a chronological order that might confuse the reader, instead it will be used an illustrated scheme “seasoned” with small text explanations and pictures.

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Floor part 1

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Using Interface’s metal modular slopes (1) and their Intercell (3) we were able to lift up the floor of the relaxation space by 8 cm, creating a sort of “podium”. The higher level of the floor and the slopes leading to it, represented also a transitional space people have pass through in order to enter the space.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by Fig 34. Metal floor and Intercell

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Fig XX: Building the mock-up Fig 35. Interface's installers building the floor

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Extension chords with outlet for electricity (4) have been placed in between Intercell and the upper metal layer that closed the floor (5) which has been drilled to let the plugs come out. The outlets have been fixed to the floor with a fitting designed ad hoc and laser cut in wood afterwards.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by

Fig XX: Building the mock-up

Fig 36. First trial for the fi tting of the electric output.

Fig 37. Final laser-cut fi tting

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Floor part 2

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Above the metal floor, 64 pressure sensors (6) have been placed, wired and soldered by hand directly on the floor. Each sensor was built as shown in the illustration: The wooden cap at the top was needed to better distribute the weight on all the sensing surface, while the rubber was meant to protect the sensor itself from damages. Considering that once the installation would have been finished the access to the sensors would have been at least uncomfortable, we tried to make them solid and as more accurate as possible.

Fig 38. The sensors before their installation

Fig 39. Soldering the sensors on the spot

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In between the sensors and the final layer of carpet which covered the floor, it was needed something to distribute evenly the weight on the sensors, therefore something stiff enough to do not bend and big enough to cover the sensing zones. The decision fell on 18 mm MDF plates (7) which came in pieces of 250x100cm for the lateral slopes and 150x150cm for the central area. They have been cut in house (with my beloved Bosch jigsaw) and fixed to the floor using the holes of the metal floor itself to keep them in place. To distribute the weight even better and do not allow the wood to bend on the sensors, pieces of soft material have been added in the clear areas in between the sensors.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by Fig 40: The central parts cut and ready to be positioned

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Fig 41: A view of the oor with wooden panel in place

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When the plates were ready, the installers from Interface came to place the final touch to the floor with the Urban Retreat carpet tiles (8) which enhanced the two different zones of the installation (active and inactive) divided by a "gentle" gradient.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by

Fig XX: Building the mock-up

Fig 42: Interface's installers placing the carpet

Fig 43: A final view of the carpet in place

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Top If the floor is where the magic starts the top is where the magic happens: it is where the output of the sensors creates the interactions with the user with lights, sounds and blinds. The supporting elements are the metal frame and the wooden panels around it (9). The first was born in the basement with the second prototype and evolved in the final one with proper metal profiles already used internally by Philips in other application. The latter added stability to the first (they are fixed with the ceiling as well) and hide all the technical elements and the electronics up there. The top is hanging at 3 meters from the ground, therefore we needed the help of installers to build it and mount it up.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by Fig 44: Installing the top part

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Fig XX: Building the mock-up Fig 45: The outern panels keep the structure in place and support it

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Floor part 2

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Lying on the frame there are four (one per unit) 3 mm thick PMMA plates with a translucency of 30% (10) to diffuse the light coming from above. Before choosing material, translucency and thickness, different attempts have been made, trying for example paper, fabric and other plastic materials.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by Fig 46: The final light diffuser in PMMA

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Fig XX: Building the mock-up Fig 47: A view of the ceiling from beneath

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The blinds (11) have been fixed on the wooden panels.

second prototype to fit the motors).

Unfortunately all the blinds’ type to choose from

came

The movement of the blinds depended on what people was

with the same plastic material and intrinsic cold feeling,

doing in the space and in which position they were sitting.

therefore the choice was made upon colors. The light grey

Once an occupant took a place, the blinds shielded him/her

was chosen to enhance the color-wash and therefore have

from the outside immerging him/her in the experience of

more colored light within the space. A good feature of

lights and sound. Such as said before, behind the behavior

the ready-made blinds was that they came with the motor

of the curtains were some basic rules, like for example

embedded in the stick, that allowed us to reduce the gaps

to create a common space if two neighboring cells were

among the blinds (more space was saved in the frame of the

occupied.

Fig XX: Building the mock-up Fig 48: A view of the blinds from inside the panels

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Fig 49: Mounting the blinds

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Sixteen Philips Hue’s (four per unit) have been used to light

They were white when inactive, but as soon someone was

up the installation and render it alive.

walking in the space, they were changing color mimicking

Philips Hue’s were incredibly handy for the purpose of the

daylight and the color suggestions of the circadian rhythm.

project: they are 6W LED bulbs that can be controlled

Using these color scheme we were able to give always

remotely via WI-FI and therefore also reprogrammable

the frequency of colored light that the body needs in each

through code. Each bridge (the device that puts the bulbs in

specific moment of the day.

communication with the router) can control until 50 bulbs,

Although this might look like the best solution for healing,

which makes Hue lamps a very nice (even if quite expensive)

different iteration have been tried for the color loop of the

prototyping tool.

installation during its “lifetime”. This was meant to entertain

In our case they were programmed to help users to pace

occupants with a smooth transition of colors and therefore

breath increasing and decreasing brightness over a preset

creating an effect that went towards the language of an

rhythm.

ambient experience more than an actual healing.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by Fig 50: One of the sixteen Philips Hue's

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Fig XX: Building the mock-up Fig 51: Checking all the bulbs before installing them

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To render the effect of light even better a couple of very simple devices made with carton plume were designed an positioned within the top of the installation. A couple of curved dividers (13) were positioned in between the units to avoid a mix of different colors within the ceiling (active unit and inactive unit had different colored lights that have to be seen from outside to understand the behavior of the system). Four reflectors (14) have been placed above the Hue’s to reduce the loss of light towards the ceiling and to keep the bulbs in place.

Fig XX: Basic behaviour of the space sketched in Processing by

Fig XX: Building the mock-up

Fig 52: The dividers avoid different colored light to mix

Fig 53: Reflectors keep in place bulbs and reflect light downwards

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Sound was provided by four speakers(15) which have been

The beauty of this ambient soundscape was that it was

slotted in four customized wooden cases to ease the

every time new and different, generated randomly by a

mounting and to reduce the vibrations.

combination of functions and calibrations with Max SP.

The soundscape was a collaboration between Adam and

The soundscape was a mix of tones with different pitches

Kevin Andersen that for the relaxation space implemented

and frequencies that, all together, created

a generative soundtrack. Depending on where people were

experience composed by high, medium and low sound.

standing and how many units were occupied the sound was

In addition to this, a subtle white noise was added in the

changing and becoming more rich or poor (increasing the

background to smoothen the external stimuli an help the

number of tones played).

brain to relax.

Fig 54: Building the speakers' system and their fi ttings

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an ambient

Fig 55: A speaker from beneath

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Light objects

Chairs

Important elements of the installation were the light globes

The main goal of the chairs was to provide a comfortable

and the chairs. The first are ready made plastic globes in

place to rest, but also to have the chance to change

which we replaced the inner LED light with a customized

between different sitting position in order to experience

outlet for a Hue lamp in order to match the effect of the

the space depending on their needs. We decided to buy

ceiling light also on the floor, enhancing the experience for

four self-standing armchairs composed by six modules, each

the occupants. These light elements provide users a focus

of them adjustable. Exploiting their modular structure, the

point and an additional paced breathing light that helps them

chairs were easily foldable, enabling users to utilize them

to relax faster.

differently either for laying, sitting, rocking..

Fig 56: The original light in the object has been replaced with customized fi ttings to host Philips Hue bulbs

Fig 57: Adjustable chairs to give different sitting options

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07. Experts evaluation The expert evaluations have been conceptualized in collaboration with Evelien van de Garde and Dirk Snelders members of the GRIP project and professors at TU/e and Adam Henriksson. The actual tests and the analysis have been conducted in collaboration with Evelien van de Garde.

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7.a Research aim Experts evaluation has been run straight after the end

what a space for relaxation in the workspace should be.

of the building phase with the idea of getting educated

With this range of questions we tried to understand what

feedback from different perspectives as soon as possible,

was their idea of a space for relaxation, how it should look

in order to apply them directly into the installation before

like, feel like, what are the features or the stimuli they

opening the space to the employees.

wanted to find in such a space. Some questions were also

Main goals of this evaluation were:

directed to have an opinion on which sort of rules they could expect to apply in there and which should be the

(a) to collect experts’ impressions on the prototype, to be able to identify concrete short term improvements and long term directions of development, but also (b) to get ideas on how to better introduce the space to final users (Philips’ employees).

location of the space. These questions were also useful at the end to come back on their thoughts and compare them with what they experienced. During the experience the main focus was to get direct feedback on how they were perceiving the space, this phase was up to the participants that were told to “think aloud”

The results were gathered in an introduction meant to

while exploring and experiencing the space.

guide users through the experience and to enable them to

At the end, experts were asked to express their thoughts

understand it in the shortest time possible.

on the experience, but also on which additional rules they

The variety of fields the experts belong and the richness

envision for the space and which was the best way to

of the experience we wanted to evaluate, lead us to

introduce it to end users. Since the discussion was lead

choose for a qualitative research that allowed to get

as a semi-structured interview, depending on the field of

unexpected results out of the initial scope. The idea was

expertise of the participant it was conducted differently,

to evaluate the overall experience more than to rate how

focusing more on one specific detail instead of another.

each independent factor that creates it (structure of the space, light, sound..) influences it. Indeed we guessed that

In shorts, the main research questions can be summarized

the analysis of each factor would have come out anyways

as follows:

during the test and that participants, which were given indications to express their thoughts during the experience, would have given feedback on those spontaneously.

• What do you professionally consider important aspects for a space to influence relaxation and concentration during work time?

7.b Research questions

• How do you experience the space? In order to get the best out of each participant but also to understand from which perspective they were looking at the problem we were asking them beforehand to describe,

• How would you introduce the space to people that have never used it?

from a professional point of view, their expectations on

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7.c Participants & method Participants of this round of user test were experts coming

problems, caregiving; some had a design background and

from several fields of expertise, the main goal was to get

an occupation in medical ambient experience or as health

our prototype evaluated from different perspectives in

care creative director; interviews have been made to

order to collect insights on the design itself, on its behavior

senior designers, interaction designers and PhD’s, which

and on its effects on the body.

were able to evaluate the prototype with an understanding

Twenty-three experts coming from different background,

of the electronics embedded in it; some researchers with

companies and organizations have been invited for the

expertise on mental health and brain behavior were

test, their scopes were obviously various: some of them

interviewed as well; eventually managers and public

worked in a medical/health care branch but with different

relations experts have been involved to get ideas on how to

involvement

introduce the space to the employees.

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such

as

relaxation

techniques,

weight

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The user tests were conducted mainly by Evelien van de Garde, both of us took notes through all the sessions, I participated as assistant of her, supporting her within the discussion and participating with in depth questions to the experts. I was also in charge of recording, the interviews indeed have been fully recorded in order to have a backup in case of unclear quotes or potentially interesting statements. All the participants had to fill in and sign an informed consent form and an NDA which established both their involvement in the project and the agreement on the treatment of their personal data/recorded session. Each user test lasted one hour and it was structured in three parts:

a) Interview The first segment consisted in a fifteen minutes semistructured interview within a meeting room, in which

Fig 58: One of the phases of the experts evaluation

participants were asked to first describe their field of expertise and their background (in order to understand from which point of view they would have valuated the prototype) and then to verbalize their expectations for the

Fig 59: The scheme shows how the interviews were conducted

prototype. They were asked to express their professional point of view on which are

the characteristics considered important,

perhaps necessary, for a space that aims to relax people in their workspace. Depending on how extended the answer was, the first question was supported by small hints like “What materials should it be made of?” or “What should it look like?”. Additional information on where the relaxation space should be located within the office space and which rules might be applied to its use were asked as well. This first part of the interview aimed to create a record which would have become useful first of all to let them reflect in the following part of the interview, but also to make a link between what they wanted upfront and what they experienced to create rules and tips for the space.

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b) Use of the space The second part of the evaluation was planned to last for

During this short period of time, interviewers were

approximately 25 minutes and split in two parts:

observing from outside the space, in silence, trying to be as little intrusive as possible, but also trying to grasp the

The first ten minutes, participant were asked to freely

different positions and ways of using the prototype.

explore the potential use of the space and to think aloud while doing this. This aimed to stimulate their explorative behavior in order to collect their gut feelings and first

c) Feedback and discussion

impressions, gather their comments on the design features

When the 25 minutes were passed, participants were asked

they were encountering on the way (space structure and

to leave the space and to come back to the meeting room

objects, blinds, lights, soundscape) and to give them the

for the third part of the evaluation.

chance to get used to the environmental setting of the

In the meeting room a second semi-structured interview/

prototype. There was no strict protocol for this part, each

discussion took place: Experts were guided to reflect

participant was left alone in front of the prototype, they

on what they experienced within the space, but also to

were given no instructions but to discover..

compare the expectations they expressed upfront with what they actually experienced.

After ten minutes of exploration participants were gently

The third part of the evaluation has been really valuable to

interrupted, whatever they were doing, to receive some tips

capture direct and general feedback, but most important it

on how to better utilize the space or, if they had not tried

has been structured in a way that allowed the interviewers

yet, to suggest them the use of chairs and lighted globes.

to guide the discussion towards certain details, tweaking

The second part aimed to let the participant experience the

the questions depending on who was the participant.

space in a setting as close as possible to an ideal situation

In this phase experts were also asked if they considered

of use. Indeed we wanted to get insights not just on how

the introduction they got before getting into the space

the prototype was built or how it was responding to the

sufficient or if they would have wanted more instructions

people in the space, but also to test the effectiveness/

or tips. Interesting was to ask them how they would have

ineffectiveness of the relaxing effect. To do so an amount

defined the experience and described the space, eventually

of time which could have matched the duration of a break

which rules they would have created for such a place.

from work was needed, that has been identified to be 10-15

For the full document used for the experts evaluation, see

minutes.

APPENDIX 2

Finally experts were asked to stop thinking aloud, to focus on themselves and their relaxation. They were left within the space for 10-15 minutes, depending on how much time was left, but also on how much time they were willing to spend within it: it really differed from person to person, some of them would have spent more time in it, some others seemed to have clear ideas after five minutes.

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Fig 60: Scheme of the Experience Lab

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7.d Discussion Space:

having troubles with the interactions. The space was just

The Experience Lab is a dynamic space, even if it is not

doing what it has been designed for: adapting itself around

in the flow of people it can still become a noisy space.

their needs.

Therefore even if we tried hard to keep it as quiet as

They were focusing on achieving relaxation and getting the

possible, the “hosting” environment might have

best experience they could get, giving feedback on how this

slightly changed from participant to participant.

could be improved.

I believe that none of the evaluations was disturbed at the

On the other hand, people that had more knowledge and

extent of being considered not valid.

understanding of electronics and prototyping were having more fun in exploring the behavior of the prototype. They

Exceptions:

were indeed walking around the space to trigger the blinds

One participant out of twenty-three refused to spend time

and to understand on which spot they had to step in order

in the space. This was led by personal issues, the participant

to get a new configuration. When they had to stay in the

suffered from claustrophobia. She was not the only one to

space and relax, they were often stepping out before being

have this problem, indeed other experts expressed to suffer

interrupted and some of them were really quick in getting

it but they did not have any trouble in getting into the space

to conclusions.

and use it for relaxation purposes. Two evaluations have been conducted in Dutch to allow the

First time use issue:

participants to be at ease and express themselves without

It has to be said that a “first time use” evaluation tends by

language constrains; the insights of those interviews have

its nature to highlight everything that steps out or strongly

been translated in English afterwards and analyzed together

characterizes the experience; within a short time trial

with the other interviews.

all the positive and negative aspects are enhanced and expressed straight away, it would have been

Differences in approaching the space, knowledge of technology vs knowledge of meditation:

probably different after a prolonged use.

Observing the participants during the evaluation it became

clearly influenced the type of feedback: everybody was able

clear that there is a distinction between who was able

to communicate their perceptions on technical details and

to experience the space to its maximum extent,

functions of the space, but just few had also the patience or

hence try to surrender to it and get the beneficial effect,

the right attitude to experience the prototype all around.

and who was led by personal curiosity to fully

The presence of the interviewers during their moment of

understand how the system was working, having less

relaxation had probably implications more than one time:

interest in the relaxing effect.

even if we were outside the space trying to avoid a line of

We noticed that people who were more confident with

sight with participant, the feeling of being observed or

relaxation techniques and meditation gave themselves over

even spied had probably increased the threshold for

to the space easily, they were less concerned about the

those less keen to relax and consequently influenced

single features of the prototype and often they were not

their feedback as well.

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The small time experts had to evaluate the prototype

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Single use evaluation was also not enough to test all

indeed kept track of the discussions taking notes, each test

the characteristics of the concept.

has been fully recorded to extrapolate quotes and to have a

Indeed collective approach to eliminate the stigma of stress,

back-up of the most important parts in case of doubt.

creation of personal rituals within the space, common

All the notes have been collected in a 13 hundreds rows

wellness were just slightly discussed during the interviews

Excel document divided by participant: additional divisions

because they would have needed a prolonged use of the

have been made depending on

space to be fully evaluated.

(expectations before, during exploration, experiences after)

The employees evaluation, will be mainly focus on those

and software and hardware feedback (for easy identification

implications and therefore will be structured upon a longer

in the second phase of the analysis).

part of the interview

time of use.

7.e Analysis

Fig 61: The main insights from the experts have been transcribed in an Excel document to create statement cards

The expert evaluation was meant to be a tool for qualitative research, to get a broader perspective on what participants experienced overall and not just to rate each single factor creating the experience itself. As mentioned before, the analysis of the prototype’s features has been made anyways by each participants and therefore we were able to understand what influenced their experience and how to improve it. The outcome of the analysis, which have been conducted in collaboration with Evelien van de Garde, is both a list of weaknesses of the current prototype, but also a better understanding on what people expect from a space to reduce their stress level within the office environment. The insight created by this analysis will generate both new directions for potential developments (either short or long term) but also will help us out to decide which is the most effective, or the less tricky, way to explain and introduce the concept to people that have never used it.

Data collection The twenty-three experts evaluation generated a big amount of data to be analyzed, a pile of papers and around 174 Gigabyte of recorded material. Both of the interviewers

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From data to information The main insights from the digital sheets were transcribed on post-its ; three main categories where created for analysis on the wall: expectations, experiences and rules/ introduction. The Expectations’ board included what participants were willing to experience upfront and was additionally split in:

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The Experiences’ board collected feedback coming from both the second part of the interview (within the space), gut feelings and first impressions, but also insights from the last part where participants had time to reflect with a “relaxed� mind. It

has

been

divided

in

sections,

characteristic

by

characteristic to gain insights on the singular features but room has been kept for the overall impressions that the space aroused. The distinctions were the following:

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The Rules and Introductions’ board gathered information

but some of them can be brought back to the lack of

from all the sessions of the interviews and it is probably the

information/introduction they had got before actually using

one which has been influenced more by the other boards as

the space.

well.

Hence implementing a good description of the space,

At this stage of the project, where the space has still to be

setting rules or suggested behaviors, give a good

introduced to the real final users, this is perhaps the section

introduction to the features of the space itself can be

which collects the most valuable insights.

pivotal to avoid bad reviews and, most important, ensure

A lot of negative aspects that marked the experience of

that they will perceive it as a pleasant experience that

the experts are indeed caused by first use approach, which

hopefully they will repeat in time.

of course can be refined and tweaked over time to offer a

The lack of information upfront can influence users’

better understanding of the space to people that still have

motivations, but also risk to spoil the whole experience;

to experience it.

this can definitely be avoided by giving practical advices

What the experts perceived as drawbacks can of course

upfront or directly on the spot.

be changed and improved through a light or heavy design

The Rules and introductions’ board has therefore been

intervention depending on the dimensions of the problem,

structured and clustered as follows:

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7.f Results. From information to knowledge Clustering and combining the results from the experts

A summary of the main findings from the experts evaluation

evaluation we have been able to draw up a list/summary

is provided. The list is divided by elements for a better

of factors that characterized the perception of the space

understanding of the reader. The full list can be found in

and that could become focus of improvement in the next

APPENDIX 6.

iteration. Secondly, directions on how to introduce the space to

Space positives:

employees, what to tell them and which behaviors suggest

• It allows to relax in a really short period of time

have been identified; they will become part of the second

• The interaction is perceived to be good, users don’t have

user test that will be conducted with Philips employees, the

to do anything but being in there

actual final users of the installation.

• The effect of relaxation is perceived to last after the session

Fig 62: Clustering the results during the analysis

Space negatives: • The squared shape is too strict/formal, for relaxation and meditation a circular or hexagonal shape would be more suitable • The single space cell is perceived to be too small, one feels forced to look up and this generates an unbalanced tension going upward • The environment is too clinical, when the light goes off it is perceived as a grey cell • There is a lack of natural elements • There is a need for a “buffer zone”, to shield from the outside environment (Philips building)

Ceiling positives: • Perceived to be beautiful and attractive • The breathing support was considered very useful

Ceiling negatives: • Lights might have a more functional use, frequency of light can be related to healing effect • Lights might match the soundscape

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Lights Objects positives:

Curtains negatives:

• Globes perceived as a focus point such as a fireplace, they

• Perceived to be too slow in rolling up/down

help mindfulness

• Perceived to be too responsive when users change

• Globes give extra light

position • Perceived to be too noisy

Lights Objects negatives: • Globes were lacking tactile qualities (“plastic” feeling)

According to these feedback the space has been slightly

• When the cell is lighted up, globes and ceiling fight for

tweaked before the second evaluation phase, which will be

user’s attention

explained in the next chapter.

Carpet positives: • Nice soft floor • The ramps and the colors help to identify where things

Fig 63: Light objects were considered to be too bright

should happen

Carpet negatives: • There is a lack of haptic feedback on the ground • There is a need for small object for unfocused exploration/playful interaction

Soundscape positive: • Perceived to be nice and effective • Perceived to enhance the experience • It prevent to fall asleep, good to relax but do not lose completely consciousness and fall asleep

Soundscape negatives: • Some tones are considered to be too sharp/high • The sound-scape can be perceived as unsettling, like if something should happen suddenly

Curtains positives: • Relatively good sound absorption • The interaction with the curtains is perceived to be playful, slow but efficient.

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Fig 64: Summary of the negative feedback related to physical elements of the space

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Introduction and Rules Important outcome of the Experts Evaluation have been the insights related to the introduction of the space to the employees; after the experts evaluation indeed, the space has been opened to a group of Philips Design’s employees. This

situation

allowed

us

to

have

a

more

deep

understanding on how the space works over a prolonged use, but also to conduct a second user test with a small group of selected persons. During the experts evaluation, participants were led to the space without any indication but their expectations in order to emphasize their explorative behavior; this often reduced their interest once they encountered difficulties interacting with the space itself. The choice of not saying too much to the experts was deliberate: we wanted them to explain which would have been in their opinion the best way to introduce the space to someone else to build our description on these feedback. Within the tests we realized that giving some information before the experience could be a powerful tool to avoid misunderstanding, to reduce the threshold in trying to use the space, but also, that the amount of information given has to be limited. Multiple participant indeed expressed the opinion that the exploration and the process of understanding the behavior of the space is the fun part of the concept.

What to communicate Focal points of this section is to put the scope on user’s personal health in relation with their daily life and moreover with their work habits. They have to understand that the space is designed for them and for their own wellness. What is important is also to underline that Philips as corporation and “employer” cares about its employees and believes in the positive effect of the space, therefore encourages them to use it for their own benefit.

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The communication has to be brief but clear, users do not have to think too much about it, they have to understand main principles and guidelines in the shortest time possible. The introduction therefore will have to be structured around the following main sentences:

• “Get a moment for yourself, get a break” • “Get quickly relaxed/inspired/clean your mind” • “Get an easy escape from work and work flow” The Corporation’s message can be summarized in few lines such as: “Philips cares for their employees and their wellness, we invested in the development of this relaxation space and we encourage you to use it for your own benefit. This is the first working prototype, feel free to use it anyway you like and if you have any tips or issues please share them with us. Together we can make it better.” The message engages employees to try to use the space for their own wellness, it informs that it is a prototype and therefore that it could be implemented upon their help and feedback. It does not just encourage them to use it but involves them both in development and buying decisions enhancing the feeling of community and collective wellness. A second group of

information has been created

to explain how to approach the space (reducing the threshold of a first time use), but without saying too much about the practical behavior of the space (to do not spoil the exploration phase). The communication can revolve around these sentences: • “Go in and explore it” • “Once you enter it will react around you, creating your

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personal space”

• Do not give them too many instructions on the behavior,

• “Depending on your needs you might use different

the fun is in exploring it

postures/positions or objects within the space: the space

• Explain the basics but leave space for personal solutions:

will adapt itself accordingly through light, sound and size”

through the creation of personal/collective rituals the

• “It is specifically designed for you to relax and immerse

overall experience will be enforced, last longer and benefit

yourself in the experience, therefore you will have limited

the whole community

control over the space” • “Once you are settled, try to surrender, immerse yourself

Rules

and let it go”

Each shared space lives upon the fact that everybody follows the rules set for it, even more if the space has been

Additional convincing information such as metaphor

designed to satisfy a specific function like relaxation.

inspired by the natural world might be useful to give them

The means to fulfill its function tough is enhancing

deeper understanding of the concept: for example to

collectiveness in order to

explain why they have limited control over the space or why

is also a new asset that has to be introduced and a place

it behaves as it does.

where is encouraged to build personal rituals.

achieve common wellness. It

The creation of strict rules that have to be followed might

How to communicate

therefore influence the perception that people have and

This information targets people that will explain the space

even demotivate new users.

to users (staff of the Experience lab, presenter of the

That is why we realized that the set of rules have to

installation).

be formulated with a positive attitude, hence they will

The reader will be able to link and recognize few of them

proposed under the name of Suggested behaviors or Tips.

such as basic assets on which the user’s introduction has been built upon. It is a list of suggestions which can be tweaked and interpreted depending on who presents and what is the audience:

• Present scenarios of use: give people concrete examples

• Respect the space, people in and around it • Leave the space as you would like to find it next time • Escape from your personal electronics and connect with yourself • Be aware of what you are here for

on when and why they may use the space

Outsource to Seniors: exploit charisma and ability of

influence colleagues that Seniors might have to spread the

more help to get at their ease within the space.

word and convince others

A list of practical advices, collected observing the way

Involve people in the buying experience: each feedback

experts used and interacted with the space, might be a

they will give will make the difference for them and for

good tool to make user’s experience more enjoyable. This

Philips

is of course a work in progress, as more users will have the

chance to make use of the space as more hints we will be

Give groups introduction: the threshold is lower if

tackled collectively.

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In addition to the information given so far, users might need

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-Explain the meaning of the ramps and the setting of the space - Introduce them to activities and different combinations of use - They might want to bring small personal object to enhance their relaxation with haptic feedback - If they want to have an immersive experience get one cell but don’t look up, it is not comfortable, instead get an object which will provide light and breathing pace right next to you.

Fig 65: A participant using two units

Fig 66: A configuration with four units

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08. User evaluation, prolonged use The user evaluation has been conducted to shift the attention from technical details of the installation to the effect it has on users, prolonged use implications and social dynamics. What we targeted was to understand whether people is able to fit the use of the space within their daily working life with rituals or routines, what are the reasons for going or not going, which is the perception of the space within Philips community.

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Before the launch of the installation, some changes based on the feedback gathered so far have been made to the setting of the room and to the behavior of the space itself: • The space has been cleaned from all the leftover materials used to build the installation which was piled on one side of the Experience lab. Having a clean and neat space all around the installation take away the feeling of temporality that made some people feel not at ease during the first evaluation. All the wires connecting the installation to the computer have been fixed and tight together; amplifier, computer, Phidget boards and all the cables have been organized in a small cabinet; screen and cabinet have been hidden behind a panel to take them out of sight of users. • In order to enclose the space in which the installation is placed and to enhance the feeling of safety and privacy, a black curtain has been installed in between the west and the central side of the Exp. Lab. • A level of randomness has been introduced in the movement of the curtains. Before they were moving downwards all together creating a “mechanic” feeling. With this implementation the curtains got a more organic behavior, taking turns to move and rolling down differently one to the other. • The shifting of colors has been changed: the new configuration shifts through the whole spectrum of colors within the time of an hour. This configuration is a combination of ambient experience/healing light/time control/flexibility. During their eight hour working day users will be able to experience the color they prefer for eight times and therefore have more options to go to the space. The changing color in the lighting of the installations shows that time is passing, hence people are enabled to time their experience without having to look at their watches or setting alarms.

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Method

Results

The installation was introduced to ten participants with

Ten people have been interviewed after one week of

the information resulting from the Experts evaluation (see

use. During the interviews notes have been taken and

APPENDIX 3). Participants were asked to use the space

the sessions were recorded with the permission of the

whenever they wanted during the following three weeks.

participants (two of them refused to be recorded).

Short questionnaires (see APPENDIX 4) were provided

The insights have been transcribed on post it, stick to the

next to the installation to get few feedback of their use:

wall and rearranged in search of patterns.

how participants were feeling after the use of it, how much time they spent within the space and if they have any

The insights have been divided in seven main categories, the

comment on their experience.

highlighted sentences will guide the reader through the main

After one week, participants were asked to have a short

findings:

individual interview (recorded, around 30 mins, see APPENDIX 5). The interview was divided in two parts: the

Annoyances/constructive feedback

first let them focus on their last time in the space, what

This group gather further information on technical details

they did, why, how they felt; the latter was more focused on

of the installation and therefore directions of improvement.

let them reflect on the general experience they had, if there

This set of interviews was not design to collect feedback

were any changes in behaviors through the experience, if

on physical details, but they appeared anyways, normal

they ever went with someone else or talked about it with

consequence of first time use.

colleagues.

As more people get to use the space as it becomes clearer

This experiment was designed to trigger a sort of “snowball

that the perception of physical features is personal:

effect�: just few people were introduced to the space

some people for example perceive the gaps between the

because we were interested to see how many people

curtains to be to small (feeling of being enclosed), but on

would have tried the space triggered by the word spread

the other hand other would like to be even more isolated

by colleagues. The questionnaires were therefore an easy

limiting the perception of the outside space within the

trick to map how many time the space was used.

installation.

All the materials for the interviews have been designed in

It

collaboration with Evelien van de Garde, the interviews

maintainers/staff must be able to control the

have been conducted with the same procedure of the

environment around the installation. The experience

Experts’ evaluation.

lab such as it is right now offers too many uncontrollable

resulted

clear

that

in

a

final

stage

designer/

conditions which influence the experience: control over lighting and electrical power, ventilation and air quality, accesses/transit of external people are just examples. Some features of the installation have to be communicated better: the loop of colors for instance can enable users to both decide which colors they want to experience but also to have a subtle perception of the time passing without having to look at the clock. If this is not

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well explained in advance might create misunderstandings

Mindset

or a limited/less pleasant use of the installation .

The key factor to enjoy a relaxing experience is the

Some people have also expressed the willing to have

mindset, this group of information gives insights on what

the chance to get more guidance within the space

is the mindset people have approaching the experience. A

through their biofeedback. The space for instance might

distinction has to be made between an open mind set and a

adapt the pace of lights to their breathing (if they want to),

close mindset. Indeed several times it has been said that the

guiding them through the relaxation. This is an additional

relaxation space gives people the opportunity and the tools

level of understanding/awareness that can be introduced

to relax, but they have also to approach the experience

and would enhance even more the customization of the

with a positive mindset and therefore be able to give over

space.

to the experience in order to achieve a proper relaxation. A “closed” mindset is intended to be either a too analytic

When

approach to the installation (typical of a “first time use”)

When participant were asked to identify in which time slots

but also the inability to try to surrender to what the space

they would have used the space, the answers were divided

suggest because of lack of confidence or motivation.

in two different groups: fixed times and activity based.

• Openness:

Fixed time slots: were defined such as precise hours of

The attitude people have in approaching the experience is

the day for instance at the beginning/end of the day, after

one of the key to the whole experience. Such as reported

lunch or at 3/4 PM when there is a still a couple of hours of

by participants, one has to be open to the relaxation

work to be done but the attention starts to decrease. Few

and not be clockwatching during the experience:

participants even introduced the idea of booking the space

your mind will notice when the body is healed and the

to be able to fit their relaxation time in their agenda and be

space itself enables you to keep track of time without

sure that nobody is there when they want to use it.

being worried about going back to work. It was very

Based on work activities: a second group of people

interesting to hear that the relaxation space brings a

indicate that the best time to use effectively the space

“luxury feeling”, participants feel privileged to have

is related to tasks they have to accomplish during their

such a space within the office environment. Another

working days: examples were after/during a workshop to

important feedback is again related to the information

split activities, before/after a meeting to

calm down or

participants were given, they might need more tips to use

reflect on the outcomes, after have finished a task or before

the space more efficiently, but they will always have to

starting a new one.

remember which is the motivation that led them

In addition a couple of people expressed their concerns on

there.

the regular use of it: one said that does not have breaks at all during her working day, therefore it would have been difficult to use it; another explained that he cannot envision patterns or routines of use but that he likes to have the possibility to use the space once in a while, when he need it.

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“It does work but you have to make sure you are working on it” “I decided to keep concentrating until my mind was calm”

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• Closeness: If having an open mind will help, having a counter approach

to do it by themselves. Some participants were “trying to

will not work at all. Within the group of users there have

focus on nothing” (instead on themselves) finding it very

been participants saying that they didn’t feel the need of

difficult, some others were keeping on thinking about the

going (and this might also be good), but we also collect

causes of their stress.

feedback of people that used the relaxation space just for

For some participants the triggers were missing: the

the purpose of our research or that, right after stepped

installation was out of sight, therefore a sort of

in, felt the urge to come back to work. Of course this

distance is created. Finally some users reported that the

mindset cannot help employees to relax, they will keep on

installation should have been promoted much more

thinking about their issues and will be difficult for them

(the real advertising campaign has been launched the week

to get anything out from the relaxation space that is not

after the interviews).

merely ambient experience. Reasons to go Prolonged use/adherence

In order to promote the use of the relaxation space in the

During the interview some question were asked to test the

best manner and give motivation even to the most skeptical

prolonged use of the installation. We wanted to understand

ones, we asked participants to explain which were the

whether people behaviors were changing in time and why.

reasons that led them to use it. The answers were split in

What we got from them is that first one has to get used to

personal motivation and social well-being.

the space and to the small annoyances it has, the behavior

• Personal motivation:

of the installation has to be digested. The first time it

Many participants indicated that they have been using the

is difficult to relax because it is a completely new

space to clear their mind and clarify their thoughts:

environment, but after getting more confidence, it

a few minutes spent in the space might be very useful for

is easy to surrender to the space and obtain what is

example halfway through the afternoon to reflect on

wanted.

what has been done and structure the next phase. It is also interesting to notice how some participants set their

“First time it is new, hence difficult to relax, then it is good” “The second time I knew what I wanted, I felt in control”

relaxation time such as reward to look forwards after having accomplished a task. Another reason to go can be the opportunity to learn something, for example with the help of instructors or relaxation experts. • Social well-being:

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Support

It has been striking to notice how the social implications

Strongly related with the prolonged use is the support/

are important for a proper use and the surviving of

information people are given.

the relaxation space. Colleagues tend to motivate/

Such as already noticed with other factors, the amount

push each other to go there, finding easier use the

of information people want is different. Some of them

space together. The “L” shape for example has been

would like to be more guided through the experience or

considered very pleasant because enable people to

even have someone telling them what to do, other just want

share an activity and a space without being obliged to face

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each other (preserving the personal attitude of a relaxation

Alternative uses

activity).

During the interviews we collected opinions of people

The social participation has been found useful to

using the space for different activities that are not related

build awareness within the community on breathing

to relaxation (or at least such as we meant it), but that can

exercises and relaxation techniques, but sometimes also

anyways advice other types of users. The openness of the

just as reminder among colleagues to use the space. For

space and the fact that its suggested use is not dominant

some participants the opinion of colleagues might prevent

over its appearance allows people to use it for several other

them to use the relaxation space, therefore they want to

purposes.

have it endorsed by the community in order to do not

It has already been spoken about group activities and the

feel excluded or judged.

use of the space such as part of workshops to split phases

Someone even considered to use the relaxation space to

or flow; people also felt comfortable just having a chat

enforce group dynamics: it is an intimate space, in which

with colleagues within the relaxation space exploiting its

people seat comfortably and/or on the ground and that is

comfortable elements, someone even watched a movie.

meant for activities that are not common in a working environment; this might low down the threshold among colleagues bringing them a bit “down to the earth”.

Remarks A general remark has to be done to better judge the result

Effects

of the prolonged user test. In my opinion, even if the results

Scope has been put also on the effect generated by the

gathered were quite rich, one week is still not enough to

relaxation space:

generate rituals and habits. Moreover it is very difficult

For some of them the relaxation effect was achieved due

to get use to something that it is, for its own nature,

to the feeling of being protected, even if physically in a

temporary such as our installation. Some participants for

big space. Few participants reported that they could have

example, even if they participated to the user evaluation

almost fallen asleep and also that after one has been in

spontaneously,

the space he/she leaves everything behind and can start

because they have to do it for the following interview and

a new phase of the day. Time in the space has been

not for their health.

perceived to be stretched because all the body slows

A positive remark on the relaxation space is that in my

down and the energy levels are slowly rebalanced to the

opinion it is not so dominant on what one has to do and

optimal ones; this allows people to take a step back and

therefore gives the freedom to manage time as one prefers.

start think clearly again.

To be more clear, the installation does what it is meant to

didn’t even tried twice, they just went

do, it uses a series of features to help you relaxing, but does

“It is like a mini holiday, it transports you somewhere completely different” “Right after I felt a bit sleepy but once at the desk I got new energy”

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it without forcing you, but leaving you the choice on how to spend your time at its best.

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09. Redesign After having collected all the feedback, two new versions of the relaxation space have been designed. Both of them aim, either to apply feedback with practical solutions, and to implement biophilic language and organic shapes/feeling within the installation. The first version is meant to improve on the current one through some small but radical changes, without modifying the main structure. The second version envisions a futuristic Philips product which embeds both blinds and lights: combined with a new model of floor it can represent a next step in the evolution of the concept towards a plug and play product. Both of them, have been designed to indicate wich could be the future of the project, but also to show what in my opinion should be the formal language and the attitude of a nature inspired product.

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Redesign 1, short term implementation implement biophilic effect and organic feeling mimic a living being create a static dynamism make previous weakness a strength

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blinds. ownership

ceiling. exhibition

Old blinds have been replaced with smaller bands of semi

Holes have been cut through the panels to enable light to

transparent fabric. More/irregular gaps are created to

shine through semi translucent squared shape. Users have

deliver a more “airy” environemnt and to avoid the feeling

in this way the possibility to understand what is going on

of being “boxed in”.

inside (e.g. if there is a vacancy) and perceive the space as being always breathing.

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dividers. safety These elements enable users to feel hidden from outside. The focus

tiles & lights. transition the

of the viewers outside the space is

shifted from what happens inside the space (hidden by the

Outside the space a transitional pattern is created with new tiles. Lights are added as well to enhance the ambient experience. Lights change in color when people pass by.

dividers) to the ceiling.

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oor. couzy exploration Softer elements are added for an unfocused exploration of the space, lights are fixed in the space and can be switched onn/off by tapping them

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Redesign 2, futuristic product for Philips implement biophlic effect and organic feeling mimic the appearance and the behaviour of a living being envision a “plug & play� product for Philips

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integrate. harmony symbiotic floor-ceiling system shaped on a single module of a light source which embeds three blinds and a floor module that can be equipped with elements to create customized combinations.

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seed. growing with you People become like seeds which will grow with and within the space. The system grows with them, displaying their presence with its colored and enlarged canopy. This effect is useful also for the ones outside that have the feeling of what happens inside.

asleep

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awake

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01. welcome.

02. adapt

The space shows that it is alive but in a hibernation state.

Once you enter in the space the ceiling light of the active

The blinds gently move. The lights breath and switch on

area gets colored and the blinds roll up anticipating

randomly seeking for attention.

movements. It might make mistakes. Everybody does.

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03. involve

04. heal

For a more intense relaxation, lights can be picked up from

While you hold the lights in your hand it will measure your

the floor. Once the light is picked up, the occupied space on

biofeedback, giving as response a paced breathing light that

the floor will light up for a more immersive experience

will help you to balance your breath. The floor light will do the same increasing the effect.

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network. ecosystem

oor. comfort and guidance

The freedom of having single pieces allow to design

The floor can be equipped with soft pebbles and higher

customized ceiling systems. Each lamp can be hanged at

seats. An extra element for paced breathing is introduced.

different height to mimic the controlled randomness of a

once it is picked up it will work with the floor lights to

living being

guide users re-balancing their breathing

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inside. canopy

outside. ambient experience

Watching the ceiling the feeling of looking up in a forest

The top shell of the light element has been designed to

is recalled. Once a space is activated the curtains roll up

allow the light to shine through its surface. Games of

and the pattern on them creates visual noise, like the one

colored lights and shadows are created enhancing the

experienced in nature underneath a tree.

experience within the room.

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ceiling light

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The ceiling is the main source of light within the space, it is

Designing the lamp with the hexagon in mind, enabled to

what makes the whole system look alive through its pace.

exploiting its scaling features and its strategic advantages.

this light is designed to produce a color wash on the

The blinds (represented in the illustration with small

curtains and to deliver users ambient experience. like the

triangles) are inserted just on three of the six edges of the

first prototype it will follow a hourly loop of color.

lamp: the systematic feature of the hexagonal shape allows

In the lamp are embedded the curtains which roll up and

anyway to have a blind on each side when the lamp are

down depending on the position of the user in the space

combined, without any overlap.

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composition of the ceiling lamp

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paced breathing The floor has lights which breath like the ceiling. They

Once the light is picked up, additional lights on the floor are

are inserted in wireless chargers and can be picked up by

activated to create a more immersive experience.

users to be guided through a breathing session. The object will measure your biofeedback using its own light and a small camera (it tracks color changes on the fingertip that are directly linked to the pulse, giving you the best pace to follow for relaxing.

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composition of the paced-breathing light

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10. Conclusions

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The question we were asking ourselves at the beginning of the project was if nature and technology can be successfully combined to heal work-related stress. The insights collected in this report, gathering the researches and the work of the last months, seem to give a positive answer. Biophila brought evidences and tools, showing the way to render an environment better using nature inspired solutions; Biomimicry participated in doing so, offering its Life principles to design functional solution that exploit the knowledge of nature; Philips provided technologies which have been tweaked to mimic natural behaviors and the spurces to make it happen. We combined a series of principles and features to follow what nature shows off and gave them life again. Such as we showed these cues can be applied in the office environment as well, creating smart spaces that resemble nature and its features. In addition to this, we also took in consideration what final users wanted through interviews and tests. We took the decision to move away from measurements and treatments, which would have made the relaxation space appear as a sterile, trying to involve human nature and exploiting the social attitude of people as motivation. We eventually found out that some people still want to be measured, suggesting a more customizable space (why would you customize nature?). Finally with the tests it was proven that creating a smart space is not enough. The space needs rules, people need explanations and time to get in the idea of using it. Being adaptive and renewing its feature is just the beginning. We also understood, it might sound banal, that people needs to be motivated to make a change or give a try to something they do not knew before, even when the benefits are displayed under their noses. Go beyond the surface is not so easy as it appears. I think that the smart space we created is just the tip of the iceberg. We had the chance to explore just few solutions, but many other might be found.

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10.a introducing novelty, evolve to survive Creating novelty and keeping evolving it is a way to keep on triggering people attention, introducing different activities in the space was one of the practical solutions. On June 26th the campaign to advertise the relaxation space within the whole office was launched. It has been designed by Helle Ullerup and it was presented in form of informative stickers placed around the office in the different ateliers. The stickers fitted the elements of the office landscape (a tile on the wall, a piece of parquet, the side of the table at the coffee corner) and presented both the directions to reach the relaxation space in the Experience Lab. but also information on stress, relaxation techniques and quotes on the argument. The same day the campaign was launched, Hans van Os came to Philips Design to spend the whole afternoon

Fig. 67 One of the advertising messages for the relaxation space

within the relaxation space coaching people on breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. The participants to this event were around twenty-five and each one of them spent around ten minutes in the space. The interesting

Fig 68: Hans van Os and a participant measuring his biofeedback

variable was the possibility to measure the hearth beat and the arousal of people before and after have used the space with van Os’ software on a laptop. The session was quite crowded and therefore the results cannot be considered fully reliable but, in most of the cases, the use of the space resulted in a reduction of the arousal and a slowing down of the hearth beat. Trying to enlarge the scope of utilities for the relaxation space, the meditation group of the High Tech Campus has been invited to use the space for their sessions. The space has been used three times for meditation sessions with a group of participants (around fifteen per session) that sit all together for about 45 minutes exploiting the relaxing ambient experience. The sessions were open (I attended myself) and the very positive feedback received from the participants have made us really proud of our achievements.

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10.b Learnings I end this eight months project being a bit more wise than

the project in several other activities (laser cut, schematic

before because during this period I had the chance to have

layout.. ); dealing with suppliers (for example for the PMMA

great learning under several perspective. Working full time

diffusers) was tricky but still very rewarding; helping out

in a multinational corporate such as Philips, on an “active�

with the interviews to the participants during the evaluation

assignment like mine, gave me the opportunity to confront

phase without being too much involved has been very

myself with diverse people and personalities, with different

interesting and challenging; I did video making and editing to

hierarchies and skills. Even if it took a while to start

display interactions and experience within the space; again

e-mailing and phoning people I did not know, once I got in

3d modelling and rendering were used at the end to develop

the flow, it was very easy to contact whoever person within

further suggestions for Philips; writing skills and proper

Philips network to get the information I wanted.

style have been practiced to write this report.

For the first time I was put in the situation to build a

Each phase of the project required different skills, therefore

prototype in this scale and moreover, together with Adam

very useful was the ability of being flexible, being able to

who I have to thank, being project manager of my own

adapt to work with the tools I had and manage properly

work. Of course there has been control over what we were

the time.

doing, but on daily basis we had to deal by ourselves with all the responsibilities of the case: conceptualize and build but also, defend our own ideas, manage the budget, research and deal with suppliers, consider delivery times and fit them into the planning, work extra-hours to meet deadlines

Fig 70: Scheme used to define the specs of the oor with Interface

and do not slow down the flow, be able to communicate properly with partners and sponsors. I think that being able to deliver the right message to the right audience has 150x150cm

been a striking factor within the whole project, something that is really important when you have to deal with several stakeholders on different levels of understanding. I was forced to use various means of communication to reach different people: from physical mock ups to 3d CAD

100x100cm ramps

models to show what the ideas where at the beginning and communicate with the engineers/planners of the Exp Lab; I was able to practice my presentation skills during the NID commission meeting or in the Open Event of the Experience Lab when all the work within the space were showcased; illustrated drawing were really useful to collaborate with Interface

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position of t underneath

for the designing of the floor and throughout

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10.c The method

10.d Nature Inspired Design approach

The steps that characterized the project can appear similar

Approaching the project I was sincerely expecting another

to the PBDR method even if this match was made towards

final result, I would have never thought to prototype a

the end of it.

massive cube with curtains rolling up and down, if I have to

It is strange to me to have to fit a method in any case,

speak the truth.

otherwise the work is not considered good enough to be

I personally think that what has been done was lead by

exposed in an academic environment. I think that following

multiple factors that influenced decisions, one of the most

a method is very useful to avoid losing yourself on the way

relevant was time. Indeed, after have tried myself, I realized

or to integrate your personal style with specific tools (like

that the proper application of Nature Inspired Design

personas or scenario) but that, if followed blindly might

techniques takes quite of time and commitment; I had hard

result in

times applying sustainable strategies in a fast delivering/

projects which are “good enough” but hardly

brilliant. Following a method is the way to make sure you

evolving project like this.

will achieve solid, scientifically supported results, but almost

Principles have been quite useful to set a first theoretic

everybody is able to follow instructions. I am convinced

framework (which defined behaviour and attitude of the

that often what makes a project interesting is the vision

relaxation space), but I definitely would liked to have a bit

behind it, the ability to contextualize and adapt your work

more time to spend on the Nature Inspired Design topic.

to changing conditions, improvisation exceeds the method.

Biomimicry is indeed a philosophy translated in a design

I say this from a personal perspective, considering and

method; being probably the "easier" or "more friendly"

comparing the experience gathered during my bachelor in

of the three main sustainable strategies for designing at

Milan where the methods or better, the phases of a project,

the moment, it still is quite a long process. It requires a

were defined and taken in consideration but sometimes

big amount of inspirational and functional research, and

considered less important than an inspiring vision.

research takes time (ask to PHD's). For how this project

Of course a project cannot be based just on an inspiring

was meant to be, time was an issue and the appearance

sketch (I am sure it happens in Delft as well), but sometimes

of the prototype is a cue to this. The space was designed

I have the feeling that the academic pressure of fitting a

squared and bulky because it was easier for us to produce

method at any cost kills the romanticism of a project. As

it in the time we had. Also in this case form followed

usual “Virtus in medio stat”.

function. The final prototype is well finished and detailed, but it is clear that it is designed to be build/maintain as simple as possible. As nature does, we had to adapt our outcomes to the factors influencing the process, therefore the squared shape and an appearance that does not really look like inspired by nature. I believe though that that was the best solution considered all factors the of the case. According to Benyus [Kellert et al. 2008], Biomimicry is not a style or a design product, it is a design process,

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“a way to seeking solutions”. In this process, firstly the

both reflecting and avoiding light to disperse, but also were

focus is set on functionality, secondly a research to find

keeping in the right place the light bulbs); the holes in the

out which is the best organism in nature performing that

metal floor were used to keep in place the wooden floor;

function is made, finally the way of executing the function is

the metal beams which originally supported just the light

mimicked to develop a new system.

bulbs, were used to support all the wooden shelves created

Biomimicry is a way to imitate nature because we recognize

to host electronics, electric outputs, speakers, router ecc..

its strength and we are fascinated by it, therefore it is a

Even if I think that the relaxation space might have received

biophilic process.

even more influence from nature and its characteristics, I

In a lot of cases although the final design may not look

am happy with the results we obtained. I think that the idea

organic or not mirror the visual elements of the organism

of keeping the natural feeling on an abstract level (therefore

that mimics.

mimicking without displaying) influenced very much the final

This condition occurred in our project as well; after having

result making it even more interesting on a conceptual level:

set a list of functions and requirements on a theoretic level

such as many products of Biomimicry, it does not look like

using Life’s Principles, we executed those functions using

nature, but it behaves as it was. On the same topic, it has

electronics and software. We mimicked in a functional way.

to be said that we avoided to appear "cheesy" displaying

The result we achieved inspires a reflection on the

nature but at the same time we lost some of the healing/

main difference between Biomimcry and Biophilia: the

attracting power that nature has in itself, which could have

first attempts to “do what nature does” leaving out the

been exploited better having more time and thoughts on

aesthetics to pin functionality, Biomimetic mimesis; the

the argument. I am also glad in this months I had the chance

latter is not just focused on working but also attempts to

to research and get passionate about NID and Biomimicry,

“look as nature look” for decorative or symbolic purposes,

participating to the NID consortium meetings, deepening

artistic mmesis [Kellert et al. 2008].

my knowledge in Biomimicry but also in Biophilic Design,

Looking back to the process and the tools I used, a

which I did not expect to encounter.

milestone for the design of the relaxation space has been the analysis of Life’s Principles and their translation in the project’s language, which was developing around the early explorations. The translated principles have grown up in design features of the relaxation space and have always been, throughout the whole project, a fixed insight to reference to. A clear evidence to support this thought is the process used in the building phase of the prototype. Even in those moments indeed, referring or thinking about Life’s principles have been helpful in problem solving and money/efforts saving: trying to give multiple functions to one element in order to save material (the reflectors were

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What is needed for quick and dirty prototyping @ Philips Design This small part of the conclusion points out the practical

messy. Another space therefore is needed to place noisy

issues we encountered during the building of the

machinery and store some extra materials: the basement

prototypes. It mainly addresses Philips Design that will

of the building might be a smart solution to take in

receive some advices on how to improve the prototyping

consideration.

“in house”.

The Experience lab for how it is organized right now, offers the possibility of finalizing the prototypes and showcase

Tools and Space:

them, but is probably not the best place to actually build

What Philips Design is currently offering is an electronics

in. It is meant to be a space where to temporary exhibit

workshop which is provided with some materials for small

prototypes and, because of that, it is difficult to imagine it

interactive prototypes: sensors, Arduino’s, wires, soldering

as a fixed working space. Each prototypes has to be tested,

stations ecc.

each test needs specific conditions, the control over the

A 3D printer has been introduced lately and, since then, it is

outer environment has to be improved and the insolation

always printing out new models and mock-ups, meaning that

between the three different areas has to be improved.

people within the building are actually using it quite a lot.

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During the project, few tools have been bought such as

Inventory:

the already cited 3D printer, a jigsaw, knives, wrenches,

It is necessary to have an inventory of everything enters and

Dremels. Of course these tools have been good enough

exits the workshop.

for our project, but they are the cheap and fast solution,

Keep track on what you have in house and what you need

they can be put on single project’s budget, but are also not

to buy is the first “must” in a shared workshop such as the

professional tools and hence less accurate. “Quick & Dirty”

one in Philips Design.

risk to become also “Sloppy & Slow” without proper tools.

It may sound annoying for people that uses the workshop

What I think is needed

(if they want to keep on

rarely but it is ideal for people that use it every day to avoid

prototyping at this scale) is a department effort to buy the

missing items or lack of rough material. Every tool needs

basic tools which are a bit more expensive but enable to

to be labeled and traceable, if someone takes it out of the

work properly and with precision.

workshop it has to be written or indicated somewhere. I

Inspiration can be taken by any University’s workshop:

have been working in the space for a while now and it

laser cutter, column drill, circular saw, sanding machine and

happened quite often that someone walked in, took a

so on. These machines are not very complicated to use

screwdriver, wrench or tongs, walked away and did not

(young students all over the world use them), they do not

bring it back. Kind of annoying.

require many maintenance and would fasten and ease the

An

process a lot.

to patch this problem: whoever takes a tool outside the

A bigger/different space is needed as well. The workshop

workshop have to write it down or leave a symbol, a

is located aside of an open space (atelier) in which a

magnet, a key chain, whatever on the board with the name

lot of people are working. Prototyping is often noisy/

to show that he/she got it and will bring it back.

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Transportation and payments:

the position of the HTC. This is enhanced by the lack of a

In order to prototype quickly is needed a way to get rough

vehicle to book or to rent which could at least facilitate and

materials quickly. Having the chance to get a electric output

speed up the process of purchasing.

or a bunch of wood almost immediately can sometimes be

During the project the main shopping has been done

very important to save time and energies.

with the bicycle, but one can imagine that the capacity

Considering the DIY stores as main source of supplies, they

of load and its speed do not make it the best vehicle for

are located quite badly on the territory, taking in account

transporting material.

Map of the main suppliers

Home, Mecklenburgstraat Philips Design, HTC Praxxis, Tenierslaan Gamma, Kanaaldijk-Noord Plan-it, Hurksestraat Electronics shop

5 km 5,5 km 5,9 km

for a total amount of:

208,6 km

2,2 km 3,7 km

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In addition, paying with a corporate’s American Express in local shop is apparently not an option. The need of getting quick materials requires also the possibility to have a flexible method of payment, handy and manageable by anyone, from the manager to the intern/student.

Building knowledge: Taking fast decision requires to scan what are the most interesting options to then be able to make a more conscious choice. Each decision taken build a certain amount of knowledge that, if well preserved, might be the starting point for others coming afterwards. This can be made in several ways for example with a material library to scan through in search of solutions. Philips Design and specifically the Ambient Experience department has a wall on which is displayed a collection of materials, it can be consulted but it is not either organized and very extensive. Again, inspiration from improvement can be taken from Universities’ material libraries such as Politeca in Politecnico of Milan, but also the new material collection at TUDelft, which shows both materials and cases of study. Interesting might also be a free subscription to material libraries like Materialconexion or material.nl. This organizations also offer the service to send over many kinds of kits with different materials. This way it will result much easier to start building a personal material collection, being at the same time updated on what happens in the fast evolving world of materials.

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coping, New York, Springer Publishing Company. Seymour, L. and Grove, B. 2005. Workplace interventions Le Blanc, P., de Jonge, J. and Schaufeli, W. 2003. Job stress

for people with common mental health problems,

and health. In Nick Chmiel (ed.), Introduction to Work and

occupational health research foundation.

British

Organisational Psychology, a European perspective. Oxford: Blackwell (pp.148-178)

Spector, P.E. 2006. Industrial and organizational psychology: Research and practice (4th Ed.). New York: Wiley.

McCraty, R.M. 2006. Emotional Stress, Positive Emotions, and Psychophysiological Coherence. In Stress

Vasant L., Dr. 1999. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home

in Health and Disease. Bengt B. Arnetz, Rolf Ekman, editors.

Remedies. Minneapolis: Three Rivers Press.

Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. McLean, R. and Jahnke, R. 2011. Health Action Inc. Mind-Body

http://www.mirrorofemotions.com visited on June 22nd 2013

Self Care Practices, Paced Breathing.

http://www.vitalsignscamera.com visited on June 22nd 2013

http://www.healthandwellnesscoaching.org/tools/07MBinfo/

ht t p: // biomimicr y. ne t /a bou t / biomimicr y/ biomimicr y-

MB_Pr_PacedBreathing.pdf

designlens/lifes-principles/

Mednick S.A. 1968. The remote associates test. The journal of Creative Behavior 2(3): 213-214.

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Appendices Appendix 1

activities within the hub. These pieces of furniture give a

Final Brief after the kick-off workshop January 14th-

suggestion to users (ex.inner glowing) and they have to be

17th

placed somewhere in the hub (a sort of active zone) to be activated (start an exercise/music/certain lights)

The project will be related to relieve the stress in the office

• The surface of the hub will allow to seat wherever users

environment.

want. area kept clean, choose a material that looks hygenic

Focal point of the project will be the “Hub” a space in which

and couzy

have a relaxing session or a peaceful moment away from

• Social/holy/ritual

usual working spot. To achieve this, it will be needed a mix between Philips

How to Experience it?

technology (mainly lights, sound and physical measurement

Individual at first, joint afterwards. Total privacy

of the stress levels) and natural aspects (materials, feeling of a natural environment, aroma therapy ecc..)

The hub will offer different possible activities: Paced breathing

Hub, gateway to a different world

Aroma therapy

• Space in a space, box in a box, hub in a box (there will be

Relaxation sessions

a sort of approaching path or environment that leads to

Music therapy

the “hub”. This space will be arranged to give a first feeling

Chromo therapy

of relaxation and introduce the user to the hub. Also in this space the natural element will be of main importance).

There is the option to have a more scientific measurement

Green path and welcoming space, turn the fear of an

of the level of stress made through Philips technologies. It

enclosed space into curiosity, You are safe from the nasty

still have to be defined whether it will be useful and where

world outside.

it will be made, at the hub or at certain spots in the office.

• Physically away from the working space-environment, out

Give direct feedback and a suggestion on what you can have

of sight from working people

at the hub

• The hub will be probably designed with a spherical shape,

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inside there will be an Inner circle

Interactions in the hub

• Semi-transparent structure, lights has to filter out.

No display, tangible, physical, simple, inviting, welcoming, be

• It would be nice if the hub appeared like alive and inviting

alive, playful, engaging, fresh, intuitive, explorative, non-

even if nobody is in.

machine like, fully integrated, developing along with the

• Focal point at the center of the space, like a fireplace

awareness level.

(main source of light/pebbles)

Creating awareness through employees

• Loose object/pieces of furniture which will be in the

Bottom up. Self-building

hub will be the interface of the hub itself. Users have to

Top down. Hints from above, ad campaign, leading people,

physically interact with them to activate the different

measurements

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Research questions (open) Do people need a trigger at the desk to go to the hub? Someone wants it some other does not. It has to be anyways personal, individual, private. Find a purpose to go there(maybe you get measured there) Transforming space for adapting it to singular/multiple users? Plan We will have 2 months to build the first actual testable prototype. Then it will be a testing phase and after that iterations and further developments.

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Appendix 2 Expert Evaluation May 2013 GRIP prototype some questions about your expectations with regard to this Initial interview: 15 minutes

space.

Exploration space: 25 minutes

What do you professionally consider important aspects for

Follow-up interview: 20 minutes

a space to to influence concentration and relaxation level during work time.

In meeting room

o What material should it be made of?

Welcome

o What should it look like? Feel like? Sound like? Smell or

Coffee/tea?

taste like?

Today we have invited you to experience and evaluate our

o Where should it be located?

GRIP design. We would appreciate it, if you can share with

o What experience should it bring? What effect should it

us your expectations before, and your experiences during

create?

and after your use of our design. With the help of your

o Could you think of any rules for using such a space?

input we can improve or extend our GRIP design.

(number of occupants, frequency and duration of use). o Are there any other things that come to mind?

I will shortly explain the setup of this meeting. First, I

Optionally: Which of these aspects is more important?

will ask you some questions about your expertise and

Which one is least important?

expectations with regard to our design. Then, I will take you to the space where our design is positioned, so that you

For Non-Philips experts: NDA.

can experience it for yourself. Afterwards, we'll come back

Sign NDA form.

to this room to discuss your experiences in more detail. Introduction to the space (switch of light) But before we can start, I would like you to read and sign

So now, I would like to take you to the space where our

this informed consent form.

design is located. I would appreciate if you could tell me

Check for questions & Sign informed consent form.

what you are thinking at all times, when we are going to the space, when you are in it, and when we are leaving. This way

Intro

I can better understand how you perceive and experience

• How would you define your expertise (in designing/

the space. And this will help us to make neccessary

researching/delivering product service systems)? ( Possibly

adjustments in future versions of our design.

indicate expertise in the areas of: Interior / Technology / Stress / Wellbeing / Products / Services / Light / Sound /

When we are in the place, you can take 10 minutes to

Human Resources)

freely explore the potential use of the space while thinking aloud. After those 10 minutes I would like to ask you some

• We have designed a space where you can be during work

questions. After these questions, there is additional time for

time to influence your concentration and relaxation level.

you to further explore and use the space.

Before we will take you there, we would like to ask you

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Do you have any questions before we go there?

Explain: Sorry for the interruption. Is there anything you would like

Transition to experience lab

to state before using the space without speaking? From

(check LED ceiling lighting & sound system upon entering)

now on you can explore the space without verbalizing your thoughts. But please, still feel free to use this space any way

So, please remember to think aloud, that is, tell me at each

you like to influence concentration and relaxation.

step what you are doing, why you are doing it, what you are thinking about it, in fact, everything you are thinking. You

10 minute exploration in silence

may start now. Optional thinking aloud reminders

Transition back to meeting room

What are you thinking now?

Thank you very much, now I would like to go back to

What do you experience now?

the meeting room where we started, to discuss your

What do you think this means?

experiences in this space in more detail.

What do think this is for? Is that what you expected would happen?

Follow-up interview Pose same questions on directions for design as before

Exploration of space

experience

5-10 minutes free exploration while thinking aloud

 What do you professionally consider important aspects for a space to to influence concentration and relaxation

Decrease volume to attract attention

level during work time.

Explain:

 What material should it be made of?

Sorry for the interruption. Please feel free to use this space

 What should it look like? Feel like? Sound like? Smell or

any way you like to influence concentration and relaxation.

taste like?

You may reposition yourself or any or all of the objects

 Where should it be located?

around here [indicate to chairs and lights]. The black chairs

 What experience should it bring? What effect should it

can be positioned any way you like it, bent in various

create?

angles or totally flat. Please continue to explore this space

 Could you think of any rules for using such a space?

while thinking aloud, after 5 minutes we will give you the

(number of occupants, frequency and duration of use).

opportunity to explore the space in silence.

 Are there any other things that come to mind?

5 minutes continued exploration while thinking aloud Decrease volume to attract attention

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.Rules of use/introduction

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Appendix 3 • Frequency of light & sound for breathing?

Introduction to the space, prolonged use

• Colours of light? What to communicate • How would you present/introduce this space to potential

You have been invited to test the relaxation space we have

users?

developed within Philips Design

• What effects can we reach with this installation? • Who do you think could benefit from using this space?

- “Get a moment for yourself, get a break”

• Is an assistant/explanation for first/consecutive use

- “Get quickly relaxed/inspired/clean your mind”

needed?

- “Get an easy escape from work and work flow”

Do you have any other comments that are relevant to the

we invested in the development of this relaxation space and

space.

we encourage you to use it for your own benefit during the next 3 weeks. This is the first working prototype, feel free

Thank you for your participation.

to use it anyway you like and if have any tips or issues please share them with us. Contact directly/feedback forms - “Once you enter it will react around you, creating your personal space” - “Go in and explore it” - “Depending on your needs you might use different postures/positions or objects within the space: the space will adapt itself accordingly through light, sound and size” - “It is specifically designed for you to relax and immerse yourself in the experience, therefore you will have limited control over the space” - “Once you are settled, try to surrender, immerse yourself and let it go” How to communicate - examples on when and why they may use the space: Instead of getting a coffee, before an important meeting and/or after, before going home (you will be more relaxed for your beloved) - Through the creation of personal/collective rituals the

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overall experience will be enforced, last longer and benefit

Appendix 4

the whole community

Feedback/Questions after using relaxation space

You may use the space now if you like while we are present

How do you feel at this moment?

but you can also use it later or ask us to leave.

Please indicate your feeling at this particular moment using

Anyways we would like you to have the first use of the

the six scales below. For each pair of feelings please circle

space today or tomorrow and to contact us if you have any

the feeling that describes your current situation best.

issues/concerns. Whenever you use the space it would be interesting for us

At this moment I feel ......

to get your feedback through feedback form that you will

Excited / Calm

find on the table. It is really short, it takes 30 seconds.

Stimulated / Relaxed

Next week we would like discuss your experiences in an

Sleepy / Alert

interview.

Satisfied /Unsatisfied

After the interviews, we will use your feedback to adapt the

Pleased / Annoyed

space to your needs.

Cared for / In control

Rules/Tips

How much time in minutes did you spend in the space?

- Respect the space, people in and around it

___________ minutes

- Leave the space as you would like to find it next time - Escape from your personal electronics and connect with

Please indicate whether or not there were other people

yourself

present while you were using the space?

- Be aware of what you are here for When I was using the space there were ..... Practical tips for “in depth” understanding

0 NO other people present 0 moments when there were other people present, and

- Explain the meaning of the ramps and the setting of the space

moments when I was alone. 0 Other people present at all times

- Introduce them to activities and different combinations of use

Please indicate current date & (approximate) time:

- They might want to bring small personal object to enhance their relaxation with haptic feedback

Date

_____ - _____ (dd-mm)

Time

_____ : _____ (hh:mm)

- If they want to have an immersive experience get one cell but don’t look up, it is not comfortable, instead get an object which will provide light and breathing pace right next to you.

Please feel free to leave any comment, questions or concern Thank you!

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Appendix 5

Appendix 6

User evaluation GRIP prototype – interview

Experts evaluation feedback summary

Time of the interview: 30-45 mins

Below a general list that aims to collect the major “complaints” of the experts’ evaluation is presented. It

First part: last time in the space

embraces them all, without being filtered yet through design

We are going to ask you questions regarding the last

decision. What does not have to be forgotten as well is that

time you went to the space. (It will much easier for the

the space is still the first iteration of a prototype and some

participant to recall the moment and the sensations than

of the issues expressed by the experts are obviously related

reflect on a general feeling of the space)

to the “hand-crafted” production.

When was the last time you went to the space?

I will present them divided by factor in order to have a

Why did you go there?

more clear overview of each component.

What did you do in the space? Did you notice any effect? Could you describe it?

Space

Did you have any concern about going/using the space? Is there any difference with the other occasions in which

- The squared shape is too strict/formal, for relaxation and

you went to the space? is it always the same? Did your

meditation a circular or hexagonal shape would be more

experiences/behavior change over time?

suitable

Do you have any other comment regarding this particular

- The single space cell is perceived to be too small, one feels

occasion?

forced to look up and this generates an unbalanced tension going upward

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Second part: general remarks

- The environment is too clinical, when the light goes off it

How often did you use the space in the last week?

is perceived as a grey cell

Did you speak with someone about it? Any colleague? What

- Something is needed to bridge the space between ceiling

did you speak about?

and floor, especially in single space where one could have

Did you go in the space with someone else or when it was

the feeling to be boxed in

occupied?

- There is a need for a “buffer zone”, to shield from the

Do you have any idea on how the space is perceived within

outside environment (Philips building)

the organization?

- Users were potentially able to bring in chairs and light

(what colleagues/boss may think)

globes from the beginning, but in most cases they were just

Do you perceive the space to be always the same? (Same

walking in the sensitive area without considering the option

light, same sounds)

to bring additional items with them

Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

- There is a lack of natural elements

Before using the space did you have any technique/activity

- Within the space there is the chance to lose track of time,

you use to relax during work time? Do you practice yoga/

introduce a time keeper or a timed experience

meditation?

- Create more variations from cell to cell in order to have

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differentiate experiences within the same space, offer extra

Chairs

“levels” to keep it interesting - Air quality can become an issue, but also a strength

- There is a lack of solutions to sit up higher

- There is a need for guidance through the experience,

- It is not clear that chairs and light objects are part of the

instructions/instructor/behavior of the space

space

- There is a need to control and to personalize the space

- A meditation pillow or a solution to sit up straight might

- Measure the healing effect can become a strong point for

be inserted

the selling strategy

Ceiling light:

Carpet/floor

- Lights could be more responsive and adaptive to the

- There is a lack of haptic feedback on the ground

posture within the space and/or to the breathing rhythm of

- There is a need for small object for unfocused

the user, changing in colors but also in intensity.

exploration/playful interaction

- Lights might have a more functional use, frequency of light can be related to healing effect - use the 7 colors of the chakra, from red-orange to indigo-

Soundscape

violet and back (defining a time for the experience through lighting)

- Some tones are considered to be too sharp/high

- Lights might match the soundscape

- The sound-scape can be perceived as unsettling, like if something should happen suddenly - Music can be implemented instead of sounds

Light objects - Light was perceived to be too bright

Curtains

- A five seconds UI might be embedded to control pace and volume of the space

- Perceived to be too slow in rolling up/down

- Globes were lacking tactile qualities (“plastic” feeling)

- Perceived to be too responsive when users change

- When the cell is lighted up, globes and ceiling fight for

position

user’s attention

- Perceived to be too noisy

- Objects might be responsive to space, adaptive to position

- Their behavior is difficult to understand

- More playful interactions can be implemented

- There is a lack of a “hold” button

- There is a lack of tactile stimuli for relaxation/paced

- They might have more warm and fluffy material

breathing

- They might be differentiated in inside and outside to characterize the space - The metal strip at the end of the curtains is not soft

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- They might be implemented with projected visuals or

- The breathing support was considered very useful

texture

- The colors were perceived positively and built on a

- They might be more transparent creating games of

storyline

shadows and light

Light objects:

- The gaps connect users with the outside ruining the

- Globes give extra light

immersive sensation, may lead to privacy invasion

- Globes perceived as a focus point such as a fireplace, they

- The surrounding is disturbing, both in terms of view and

help mindfulness

noises - They might be implemented with their own behavior to

Carpet:

stimulate users with playful interactions

- Nice soft floor - The ramps and the colors help to identify where things should happen

Positive factors’ summary

- The neutral colors of the carpet are perceived positively

A summary of what the experts have found to be positive

Soundscape:

is presented as well. It will be useful to define which are

- Perceived to be nice and effective

the factors that have to be kept as they are or that anyways

- Perceived to enhance the experience

have encountered more appreciation during the evaluations.

- Perceived to have an influence on different part of the body, high tones are for the mind, low tones are for the

Space:

belly

- It is perceived to be useful for activities with multiple

- It prevent to fall asleep, good to relax but do not lose

people

completely consciousness and sleep

- It is perceived as positive to be shielded in

Curtains:

- The effect of relaxation is perceived to last after the

- Relatively good sound absorption

session

- The gaps avoid people to suffer from claustrophobia

- It is perceived to have a religious/holy feeling

- The gaps are perceived such an easy way out

- Metaphor of bathing experience

- The curtains’ texture is perceived clean and pleasant

- It allows to relax in a really short period of time

- The noise of the curtains was perceived as a step of the

- It allows to escape from the daily work flow, outer world

process, once it is ended one can really relax

- The interaction is perceived to be good, users don’t have

- The interaction with the curtains is perceived to be

to do anything but being in there

playful, slow but efficient.

- It was perceived as coherent with the context, a place for relaxation but with a business-like feeling Ceiling lights: - Perceived to be beautiful and attractive - The waxing and waning of the light is perceived as very relaxing

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Special thanks to our project partners:

GRIP

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