Toxic air affects intelligence

News update – October 10th, 2018

In our weekly news filter ‘What We’re Clicking On’, we share our thoughts on the most interesting articles relating to the future of cities, buildings and interiors.

A new Chinese study shows that the damage to society of air pollution is far deeper than the impacts on physical health, The Guardian noted this week. This research by the Yale School of Public Health shows that high levels of toxic air also affects intelligence. High pollution levels have an average impact equivalent to having lost a year of education, and this is the case for people of all ages and both genders.

Read the specifics about this research in The Guardian

Last week we came across this article by on the startup Bumblebee Spaces. This startup disrupts the idea of a room by moving furniture and possessions in and out on command. Using robotics and an AI-based storage system, the company promises to double-to-triple the usable space in a room by packing all the occupant’s stuff into ceiling modules, then raising and lowering those modules on hoists as needed. Within an apartment building, neighbors will have the option to share data about their possessions with one another to facilitate borrowing and eventually users will be able to control modules by pointing rather than speaking!

Read more about this innovative use of space on

This week, Harvard Business Review (HBR)  covered a new survey, ‘The Employee Experience’ by HR advisory firm Future Workplace. The survey shows that access to natural light and views of the outdoors are the number one attribute of the workplace environment, outranking onsite cafeterias and fitness centers, among other things. HBR suggests that the desire for workplaces infused with daylight and views may be due to our increased usage of mobile devices. Employees surveyed agree that the longer they use their technology devices, the more they need a “visual break” such as taking a walk or looking through unobstructed windows to an outside view.
Read the full article on Harvard Business Review