Our Services

The design of places, objects, and services significantly influences thoughts and behaviors, ultimately affecting mental and physical wellbeing. Cognitive psychologists have learned the details of what, when, how, where, and, most importantly, why particular experiences and outcomes are linked. Partnering with us as your cognitive-science consultants is an effective way to generate unique insights and powerful design options that make lives better and achieve organizational objectives.

We will share insights that, for instance:

  • Enhance performance at workplaces, schools, healthcare facilities and elsewhere
  • Increase creative thinking
  • Improve health
  • Smooth socializing and getting along with others
  • Spur sales
  • Foster wellbeing and positive mental states.
  • What we do

    We can help you:
  • Apply research from rigorously derived, published scientific studies to your specific design project.
  • Conduct targeted project-specific studies (e.g., using observation, interview, survey, and group discussion techniques, among other research tools).
  • We can answer important questions such as:

    colored lights

    How are our emotions and behavior affected by surface colors? Patterns?  Colors of light? What about light intensity?

    textured metal

    How do textures influence us emotionally? Are some naturally calming? Is it important whether we see them or feel them?

    ocean surf

    How do sounds affect our mental state? What sorts of noises delight us? Frustrate us? Help us concentrate?


    How can scents help us learn (and remember) technical material? Be creative? Avoid claustrophobia? Feel healthier? Buy more?

    curved wood bench

    How do room and object dimensions influence us psychologically?  What about ceiling heights and floor plans?

    forest fern

    How should design recognize and respond, in different settings, to our species’ most basic drives to survive and thrive?

    building shapes

    How do shapes (seen or felt) mold our experiences?  When should they be curvier or more rectilinear?

    decorative screen

    How should personality and culture inform design decisions?  Are there times when they can be ignored?

    Dr. Augustin

    Dr. Augustin

    Sally Augustin, PhD, is a practicing environmental/design psychologist and the principal at Design With Science. She has extensive experience integrating science-based insights to develop recommendations for the design of places, objects, and services that support desired cognitive, emotional, and physical experiences.  Her Design With Science clients include manufacturers, service providers, and design firms in North America, Europe, and Asia.  They book Design With Science's services again and again—applying cognitive science pays off.  More information on clients and past work is available upon request.

    Dr. Augustin is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

    Work completed by Dr. Augustin has been discussed in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Forbes, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Prevention, Salon, and Self and design publications worldwide. She is an invited contributor to the online version of the Harvard Business Review  where she has contributed articles on a range of topics, from engaging workplaces to design and culture. For Metropolis, she has written a series of articles about successful spaces titled "Places that Work." She has discussed using design to enhance lives on mass-market national television and radio programs.

    As the editor of Research Design Connections, Dr. Augustin has written widely on science-based design for a broad audience of people interested in the designed world.  She speaks frequently to audiences in North America, Europe, and Asia at events such as the annual meeting of the American Institute of Architects, the International Design & Emotion Conference, the bi-annual meeting of the International Positive Psychology Association, the bi-annual meeting of the Association of Neuroscience for Architecture, NeoCon/IIDEX, the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting, the Environmental Design Research Association annual conference, Healthcare Design, Living-Futures, and Applied Brilliance. 

    Sally Augustin is a graduate of Wellesley College (BA), Northwestern University (MBA), and Claremont Graduate University (PhD). She holds leadership positions in professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association (past-president, environmental psychology division) and the Environmental Design Research Association (chair, work environments network).  

    Dr. Augustin is the author of Place Advantage:  Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture (Wiley, 2009) and, with Cindy Coleman, The Designer’s Guide to Doing Research:  Applying Knowledge to Inform Design (Wiley, 2012).

    Contact Dr. Augustin at sallyaugustin _at_ designwithscience.com or call 323-244-9850.