Two field seasons completed
In the first field season, we addressed the question whether art has a comparable effect on well-being as plants. In the second field season we focus in on the question, which qualitative aspect of art objects – aesthetic or personal relevance – is responsible for the positive effect on human wellbeing.
Relevance or Beauty?
In 2023, Summer, we further investigate if the presence of the Oase and artworks in urban environments can promote well-being. This year, we also test if the subjective experience of the artworks, in terms of beauty and self-referential meaning, is a cause to promote well-being to further explore the mechanism of well-being benefits by interacting with artworks.
Validation in the laboratory
The findings of the field study in 2022 are validated in a laboratory setting.
Perception and Physiology
In Spring to Summer 2022, we conducted a large field study to assess the effects of aesthetic/green components in urban spaces in the city of Vienna. Specifically, we built two different parklet-sized interventions which can be directly settled in the streets. Such interventions are especially called Graetzl oases in Vienna, providing public spaces where people can interact, communicate, and take rest. We built two different types of oases, art-based and green-based oase, and set them on two very different areas in the city. One location was Burggasse, which is located right in the heart of Vienna with a lot of aesthetic buildings and shops. The other location was Seestadt, which is located more outside of Vienna with a lot of open and green spaces. We observed how the city dwellers walk around the two quite different urban environment with different types of oases and assess how such different environment might influence on visitors’ well-being with mobile eye trackers, wrist band/harness for measuring physiological measures, and by directly asking questions to them. Such brand new field investigation and its methods are expected to bring practical insights for healthy urban designing/planning as well as for everyday life human behavior.
We explore how visitors evaluate different designs of the Oases. We focus on an art-based and a green-based design and concern ourselves with questions such as whether an artistic design leads to the visitors thinking, reflecting and searching for meaning; as well as whether the biophilic design evokes comfort, tranquillity, and wellbeing. Furthermore, we assess how the perceived beauty of the Oasis in each case can improve the visitors' mood.
Another study which uses the same study setting aims to investigate the effects of the two oases on the local connectedness of the test persons.
This project also provides an opportunity to investigate if and how the presence (or absence) of a written invitation influences the interaction of people with the art and green oases. Within our data collection, we now document the reactions (or non-reactions) of passers-by with an app called “Behayve” by observing them. As such, we aim to assess whether there is a difference regarding the reaction of the people towards the different oase types in different surroundings.
More Vegetation for Seestadt
As Part of the project, we also included a smaller data collection, focusing only on the possible effects of different level of urban greenness on the city dwellers well-being. To this aim, we conducted a short-longitudinal field study from late winter to early summer to have different levels of greenness in the urban environment in Seestadt. Such parametric differences in the greenness will be a direct insights on how much greenness can improve our psychological mood and physical/mental well-being.