Sensory Design and Nature in Architecture and Interior Design
A wood-clad floor that reverberates through space. The brilliant marble of a workbench that invigorates the spirit. The roughness of a stone wall that gives sobriety to a room. These are all examples of how the new stream of design and architecture is exploring materials, spaces, and human senses. This new paradigm of sensory design and bringing nature back inspired the recent edition of Architect@Work London in January 2020.
Materiality, sensory design, technology, and nature are concepts that are exciting contemporary architects and designers and that were heavily debated at A@W London 2020, under the theme Sensory Design – Acting Natural: New Ways in Which Architecture and the Environment Converge. For two days, The Old Truman Brewery was a scene of rich exchange of knowledge and human relations.
Nature & Sensory Design
The vital need of a return to authenticity through a pacification between technology and nature and the attention to multisensory stimuli, instead of only serving the dictatorship of vision, are the new challenges of architecture and design. Today, Architecture and Interior Design professionals are investing in products and concepts that fully materialize this new stream. A stream that explores the endless ways of providing holistic sensory experiences to the users of a space, be it commercial, private or public area.
Sensory design is a kind of revolution that is making a great impact on our way of being. It’s a way for us to connect with everything around us and get a rich experience of space and environment. Besides this, it is the most democratic concept that has ever existed in the fields of architecture and design. A concept that is paving the way for accessibility and inclusion by opening to multiple sensory dimensions; Blind or deaf users, for example, can experience products and spaces that suit them. Sensorial design is the path to our returning into nature. It allows us to disconnect from digital stimulation, a step that is vital to human experience.
In line with this trend, that uses the latest technologies to recreate and ennoble natural materials, is the example of the Portuguese company A Cimenteira do Louro (ACL) with its wallcoverings and pavements, fully developed based on concrete. The three-dimensionality and perfect imitation of the colors and textures of natural elements, present in the Portuguese landscape, such as stone, cork, and wood, define the performative and aesthetic excellence of ACL wallcoverings and pavements. These are a good example of how this stream explores the many ways to provide holistic sensory experiences in design.
Sophistication, bold design, and sensoriality were hosts of the 2020 edition of A@W London, inspiring the present and the future of spaces and objects.
Words by Vânia Correia