The Multisensory Space Method

Interested in experiential learning environments? Wanting to create a meeting place that supports a sense of community? Desiring to promote learning and wellbeing by innovative means? If your answer is yes, the Multisensory Space Method is meant for you.

The multisensory space

The Multisensory Space is an easily modified space where photographs, images, sounds and items create diverse learning environments for visitors. Different multisensory materials provoke thoughts, memories and feelings. The Space itself is the core of the Multisensory Space Method. The Method has been developed within a Finnish network, in a project called With All Senses – Developing Open Learning Environments.

This method can be applied to different contexts when creating learning environments. It can be utilised in the activities of different organizations, such as learning institutions, libraries, museums and NGOs. Learning institutions can use the method to make their education more versatile and interactive. Libraries and museums can provide open learning environments for new visitor groups and encourage them to create their own Multisensory Spaces/environments. It is also a good method for building a local network and enhancing co-operation within a local community (between schools, museums, associations, libraries and so on).  The method is a good way to involve and inspire local people to take action.

The purpose

The purpose of the Multisensory Space is:

  • to use it as an inspirational learning environment
  • to promote multiculturalism (immigrants work together with natives and make their culture visible)
  • to collect memories and local history through reminiscing, thus making history visible to others
  • to make it possible to visit “another place or time” (creating places from memories, history, future visions etc.)
  • to promote wellbeing and empowerment

The Multisensory Space Method is characterised by the following:

  • use of different multisensory elements, such as visual material, touchable objects, sounds, food and scents
  • the method promotes interaction, wellbeing and learning
  • the processes are made together with different people; it brings together individuals and groups from different cultures, generations or organizations

The Multisensory Space is created around a certain topic. During the shared creation process, values, memories and individual experiences related to a theme or topic can be discussed and shared profoundly, thus making these processes visible for visitors. Then, in the ready-made space, people gather together to encounter, interact and freely discuss.

The project

The development process of the Multisensory Space Method started in southern Finland, at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in 2007–2008 in the form of student projects. In 2009-2010, the method was further developed in a project called Encounters in a Multisensory Space(, which was granted partial funding from the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals.

In September 2011, the project With All Senses – Developing Open Learning Environments (Aistien – Avoimia oppimisympäristöjä kehittämässä) was launched to continue the development and promotion of the method. The Laurea University of Applied Sciences co-ordinated this project with national partners: Provincial Museum of Lapland, Jyränkölä Settlement/Heinola Adult Education Center, Hämeen Kylät ry (Regional Village Association), City of Vantaa (especially Lumo Community Centre and Library), Päivälehti (Newspaper) Museum, and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The project was funded by the European Social Fund and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of North Ostrobothnia. The project was concluded in March 2015.

These web pages have been created as part of the With All Senses project. The progress of the project can be followed through our Finnish webpage

The Multisensory Space Method brochure

Download here a short brochure about the Method