The Multisensory Space

How to build a Multisensory Space for different purposes

The idea of a Multisensory Space

The idea of a Multisensory Space is to be an easily modified space that can be used for different purposes and can even be built in different environments. In planning a Multisensory Space, all the senses are given attention.

In a Multisensory Space, there is

  • something to see (photographs, videos)
  • something to touch (objects/items, fabrics)
  • something to hear (a soundscape of music, birdsong, sounds or speech)
  • something to smell (e.g. fragrances, spices and herbs)
  • something to taste (e.g. finger foods and drinks)

The Space is intended to be a comfortable environment that encourages and promotes interaction, dialogue and sharing between visitors. The Space can be set up as a permanent solution, for example, in a classroom or library, or a temporary mobile version of the Space can be used, if needed. The options are introduced below.

The Multisensory Space as a Fixed Structure

The Multisensory Space at Laurea is built in a classroom. The room is divided into The Multisensory Space, storage and a space that can be used, for example, as a conference room. The Multisensory Space accommodates approximately 20 people at a time.

In addition, there are two computers in the classroom that can be used to control sound and image, and a mixing desk. There are also room darkening blinds and storage shelfs, where you can find different fabrics and small items.

The mobile version of the Multisensory Space

Additionally, there is a mobile version of the Multisensory Space that can be set up at different public events and places. For this purpose, a structure like a fair stand with canvas walls has been used.

The measurements of the structure are 2.5 m x 2.5 m. On the whole, the same technical requirements are applied to the mobile Multisensory Space as with the permanent solution. With the mobile version, a laptop and a portable projector are used to project a large image onto the canvas wall. The projector is situated outside the Space, so that the picture can be seen inside.

The size of the mobile version is relatively small, but it creates a cozy meeting space.  However, if the space does not need to be so intimate, the structure allows for the creation of a more open space by moving a few canvas walls.

For a successful event, please carefully plan the location of the Space and take into account the surrounding sound and light conditions.