Sense of Place: A Multisensory Approach to Design
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Our experience of place is intimately bound to our senses, through direct, physical encounter and more elusive, immaterial ways of understanding. This practice-led research locates itself across three distinct sites or conditions within the wider Whanganui Basin, from South Beach (at the southern spit) to the Heads Road industrial hub and onto the expanse of Castlecliff Beach. Each location is engaged through a series of exploratory and multisensory walks that provide an account of various aural, tactile and visual sensations. Aspects of sensory design have been incorporated as a method to craft digitally printed textiles and mixed-media artefacts, recalling an archival registry of sounds, surfaces and atmospheres encountered across these three unique conditions of site. Through a multidisciplinary approach to designing and making, this research has sought to capture the sensual, tactile and emotive qualities of place evidenced through analogue and digital modes of production. Sense of Place, is therefore apprehended within this masters of design project via an experiential and multi-sensory analysis of site. The designed artefacts created during the project act as registrations or testimonies of place relayed through sensory data. Can a multisensory design approach imbue objects with a sense of place?