Humans have five main senses in which are used to understand themselves and the world around them. The visual sense has dominated over the other senses, especially in architecture. If only one sense is being used, how much is the human experiencing? Design should interact with a collaboration of senses to enhance experiences. When we enter a space that gives us opportunities to touch different textures, taste different foods, smell different scents, see different sights and hear different sounds, we become very engaged and we can find ourselves becoming one with our surroundings. We start to learn more about ourselves and the things that we like and dislike.
Senses drive creativity, Creativity drives senses.
Spaces should be experienced through the senses. Sensual qualities of architecture have been forgotten. There are different qualities of a space that help individuals perceive a space. Such qualities are textures, volumes, materials, temperature, scents and sounds. This is what should give individuals a complete multi sensory experience and help people learn more about themselves, their environment and other people as well. With the use of other senses, new perspectives arise along with more absorption and awareness of surroundings.
When we start to use our senses and design spaces that give opportunities for sensory engagement, we are opening the door to all individuals, even those with disabilities. The visually impaired can still imagine what a space looks like by listening to how the sound travels through a space, by feeling the textures on the walls and patterns and so on. The deaf can become more engaged by using more than their eyes to understand their surroundings. It is also proven that people with autism have better results when they are in multi sensory environments.
The way spaces feel, the sound and smell of these places has equal weight to the way things look. -Juhani Pallasmaa
Senses & Spaces is about helping people live their lives better. There are so many people who are forgotten because of their disabilities, but it is time for us to provide new opportunities that will help us all grow together.