Designing multisensory living environments

Multisensory universal design and comprehensive accessibility should be in the heart of designing living environments. However, visual aspects dominate the design process and in regulations, barrier free spaces are given priority over all other aspects of accessibility.

In our study, Kaikille sopivia koteja (Homes for All), we argue that this can and should be changed. With the principles of universal design, it is possible to accomplish multisensory and fully accessible living environments for all. As a result of a literature review, we present guidelines for designers in various fields: architecture, interior, landscape, structures, HVAC, and acoustics.

The study was commissioned by Rakennusteho and was realized in 2020–2021 as a background for the design of Samoan Fale in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki. For the time being, the study and the guidebook are only available in Finnish. The report can be downloaded here.

Beautiful illustrations in the report are made by Rosa Väisänen.