Rock-Skin: Interior Architecture & the impact of Connectedness to Nature (CNS)
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This research study investigates the impact of nature (i.e. the connectedness to nature scale) on user behaviour (i.e. increased ecological empathy and behaviour changes towards climate action) in architecture and interior design.
Led by Prof. Linda Zhang, professor of Interior Design at the Creative School and Meng Li (Studio Pararaum), with support from SSHRC Explore, this research will inform new metrics for sustainable architectural and interior design focusing on the impact of nature and natural elements on user behaviour.  

 This research will expand the definition of sustainable architecture to include psychology and behavioural dimension and develop new metrics to measure how architecture can promote environmental behaviour in its occupants. We hypothesize that effective ecological behavioural change requires architecture and interior design to not only be factually sustainable (as set out by green rating systems) but to also be experientially and psychologically sustainable (connect inhabitants to nature and build ecological empathy through lived experience).
 
For additional information, please contact: Prof. Linda Zhang Periphery Architecture and Research in Affect La (PARA Lab), Interior Design, The Creative School, X University 416-979-5000 x 556922 or linda.zhang@ryerson.ca. This research study has been reviewed and approved by the X University Research Ethics Board (REB 2021-XXX) and is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant.

The university formerly known as “Ryerson University” is currently undergoing a renaming process following the recommendations of the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force. For more information please visit: https://www.ryerson.ca/standing-strong-task-force/ 


Interested in participating in this immersive and experimental research study?
We invite you to participate in this study! If you're interested, simply follow the instructions to explore our immersive virtual reality environments and completed an anonymous online survey (20 minutes).
By clicking on the ‘I am 18+’ button below,  you are confirming that you are above the age of 18 years old. *
By clicking on the ‘I agree’ button below,  you are agreeing that you have: a) read the information in this agreement and b) have had a chance to ask any questions about your participation, and c) have been told that you can change your mind any time and withdraw without consequences. *
Informed Consent
Title of Study:
Design for Sustainable Behaviour: New Metrics for Architecture/Interior Design and User Behaviour

Led by Prof. Linda Zhang, professor of Interior Design at the Creative School this research will inform new metrics for sustainable architectural and interior design focusing on the impact of nature and natural elements on user behaviour. This research will expand the definition of sustainable architecture to include psychology and behavioural dimension and develop new metrics to measure how architecture can promote environmental behaviour in its occupants. We hypothesize that effective ecological behavioural change requires architecture and interior design to not only be factually sustainable (as set out by green rating systems) but to also be experientially and psychologically sustainable (connect inhabitants to nature and build ecological empathy through lived experience).

Investigators:
This project is led by Prof. Linda Zhang, Periphery Architecture and Research in Affect (PARA) Lab, School of Interior Design, X University and includes project partner Meng Li (Studio Pararaum)

Purpose of Study:
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of nature (i.e. the connectedness to nature scale) on user behaviour (i.e. increased ecological empathy and behaviour changes towards climate action) in architecture and interior design.

Taking Part in this Study:
You will explore 4 virtual environments and answer a short online survey about each environment (10 questions each, about 5 to each, total of 20 minutes).

Your participation is entirely voluntary. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw your consent and to stop your participation at any time during the project. Your withdrawal will not affect your relationship with any of the researchers and collaborating organizations. You may also choose not to answer any question(s). If you decide to withdraw and wish for us not to use your data, please inform the researcher as soon as possible and within 2 weeks of the termination of your participation. We will remove and destroy all your data to the best of our ability.

Privacy and Confidentiality:
This survey is confidential and anonymous. All information provided will be kept confidential.  We will not collect any individual and personal information that could identify you.

Risks of Participation:
There are minimal risks of participation in this study. You may feel dizzy while exploring the virtual environments. Should you experience any dizziness you can stop at any time. All responses are voluntary.

Benefits of the Study:
Your sharing will contribute to informing new metrics of sustainable design as well as guidelines for design that take into consideration occupant behaviour towards climate action.  You may also become more connected and aware of your own relationship to nature in the built environment by exploring the three virtual environments and reflecting on them.


Data Storage and Dissemination:
Data collected in this project will be stored securely via encrypted and password-protected cloud drives, and access will be restricted to only the core research team members and research trainees. All data will be used only for the purposes of informing policy, practice, and education. Due to the importance of this work, digital data will be stored indefinitely to inform pandemic response models and frameworks.

Funding Source:
This project is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

For additional information:
Please contact: Prof. Linda Zhang Periphery Architecture and Research in Affect La (PARA Lab), Interior Design, The Creative School, X University 416-979-5000 x 556922 or linda.zhang@ryerson.ca. This research study has been reviewed and approved by the X University Research Ethics Board (REB 2021-XXX) and is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Explore Grant.

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