Multi-sensory design – creating healthier public spaces

Thu, 08/12/2016 - 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Multi-sensory design – creating healthier public spaces

8 December, London 4-8pm followed by a networking reception

Event Chair: Charles Landry


Join us for the final event in the ARCC network’s Feeling good in public spaces dialogue series. We’ll explore how multi-sensory design approaches can improve city dwellers’ experiences in urban public spaces – their form, morphology, aesthetics and materials. By providing a sensory journey from start to finish, we aim to challenge and perhaps inform changes to conventional approaches to place-making. The evening’s programme is below. Talk summaries and speaker biographies are available online.



The Feeling good in public spaces series was devised by the Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change (ARCC) network and the Feeling Good Foundation to encourage consideration of how people’s senses can be affected by the design of public spaces and building frontages.

Throughout the series we've examined how climate change or climate disruption could present challenges for these experiences, and how developments in technology and knowledge could help improve urban resilience.



Event outline


16:00 Registration and a multi-sensory journey

Delegates will be taken on a sensory journey, revisiting highlights and learning points from previous events, have a chance to see first-hand, and discuss with researchers, emerging research findings with relevance to city planning.  Delegates will be provided with much needed sustenance by Flavour SenseNation so that they are fully energised for the evening’s programme. There will be a special feature event prior to the Chair’s welcome so do ensure you come and experience this part of the event before the talks start.


17:30 Chair’s welcome ?


17:45 Defining multi-sensory design ?

Panel of event series chairs’ perspectives on what multi-sensory design and a chance for all to share their thoughts on what it is and its use in day to day practice.

·      Briony Turner, Knowledge Exchange Manager for the ARCC network

·      Professor Emeritus Derek Clements-Croome, University of Reading

·      Kay Pallaris, Mapping Futures

·      Dr Jim Coleman, Head of Economics, BuroHappold Engineering

·      Wendy De Silva, Architect and Mental Health Lead, IBI Group

·      Charles Landry, founder of Comedia



18:10 Technical talks

The psychology of multi-sensory experience, research and practice.

·      Housing interventions, perceptions, and the quality of the neighbourhood environment - Professor Wouter Poortinga, University of Cardiff

·      How adaptive sensory environments expand human potential - Maria Lorena Lehman, Founder of Sensing Architecture ® Academy and Author of Adaptive Sensory Environments

·      Spaces for people – exploring a map of gaps -  Alastair Somerville, Sensory design consultant

·      Sensecapes as ‘brush strokes’ of an urban canvas - Alexandra Gomes, University College London

·      The Flourish Model: an example of a multi-sensory conceptual approach to design - Professor Emeritus, Derek Clements-Croome

·      Knowledge frontiers in the creation and design of healthier public spaces Briony Turner, Knowledge Exchange Manager for the ARCC network


19:10 Chaired dialogue session

Delegates will be invited to consider how, and whether attempts should be made to mainstream the idea of high-quality design through thinking about how humans interact in a sensory manner with the built environment. Discussion will also include how we encourage designers to consider the political and social dimensions of architecture, engineering and urban design, along with collaborative and participatory approaches to design and the notion of social spatial justice.


20:00 Chair closes formal proceedings, sensory experience reopens with replenished nibbles and drinks. ?


21:30 Event closes ??


Briony Turner | Knowledge Exchange Manager for the ARCC Network | +44 (0)1865 285047  | 07785 358 776

UK Climate Impacts Programme | Environmental Change Institute | University of Oxford |

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

Academics, don’t forget you can update Researchfish with your impact activities all year round