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Sensory Information - ARC230

Updated: May 7, 2020

So you think we only have five senses? Think again...

During study for ARC230 (BA (Hons) Architecture Part 1 RIBA, Falmouth University) I attended a talk by... (in my notes in the classroom locked down under COVID19!) possible the founder of The Sensory Trust. The presentation was a real eye-opener. I had no idea we had so many senses to consider and how architecture can improve or destroy our senses.

This video will help explain that we have around 33 senses...


An interesting blog article https://www.mlldesignlab.com/blog/how-sensory-design-can-help-responsive-architecture-be-more-effective states ;

A responsive architecture that just interacts with occupants without much attention to how it impacts them is not good. Thus, it is important for sensory design to enter the picture — where analysis and strategy can go into a design process that aims to touch occupants intellectually, physiologically, emotionally, behaviorally, and even spiritually. For instance, by strategizing about how your architecture will impact your occupants behaviorally, you are delving into why certain spatial stimuli combinations work and others don’t in certain instances and for certain outcomes.


In designing the accommodation and the communal spaces for ARC230, (now nick-named 'Fal Bath Homes' ) I have been able to think about some of these senses and how it affect every corner of the building. Its not enough to just place items as we always have, but to think - "If someone has a problem on the toilet and can't get up, will there be room for two people to stand either side to lift them to safety?" Well, if you place the WC close up against the wall, then the answer is no.


It is recommended that you take a look at the Sensory Trust website, it is really helpful for architects. https://www.sensorytrust.org.uk/information/articles/senses.html


Hazelwood School, Glasgow by Alan Dunlop 2016 was designed specifically for children who are “dual sensory impaired” – they are both blind and deaf, but there are plenty of examples. See also https://architizer.com/blog/inspiration/collections/the-architecture-of-perception/


I light to think that light has been an important consideration in my building and how that will help those loosing sight as they age. Further research is need on developments in kitchen design however as that will really change the way we plan our spaces.





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