Sensory Awareness

Generally speaking one thinks of humans as having only five senses. This Sensory Awareness class learned about and experienced seven senses, which included synesthesia and intuition in addition to the usual visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory senses. The purpose of this class was to bring into one’s consciousness a richer experience of the senses and discover potential applications for natural forms.

The eco installations on this page were artifacts of individual responses to highly experiential learning activities that explored the senses and meaning making. They are expressions of the internal stories that were stimulated by sensory input that activated memories from personal inner landscapes, which in turn were redefined through the process of making meaning from the artifacts. In other words, they are subjective experience brought into form through human craft.

When acting in partnership with nature, humans become aware of their participation in a greater life narrative. As designers, this new level of awareness will be an asset for understanding clients, audiences and the design process from ideation to final product and/or strategies. 

See the entire process documented in the books and videos below.
See the students' eco installations with accompanying haikus below the videos.

Sensory Awareness process book

This process book demonstrates the kind of multi-sensory learning designers undergo as part of their training in order to create empathy and help themselves and their clients engage on a deeper level.

Exploring the Senses

An overview of the Sensory Awareness class which took place in Lacoste, France in Spring 2015






A sense by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted in the brain. 


The ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations. 


A muscular response stimulated by bodily sensation including somatic sensations and emotions.

Taste & Smell

The sweet, sour, bitter, tangy, or salty quality of flavors that can be experienced when the taste buds are stimulated on the tongue.

The perception of odor or scent through stimuli affecting the olfactory and/or gustatory nerves.

Taste and smell are paired because they are often intertwined into one experience. Many times a taste is partially defined by its accompanying olfactory input. 


A sensorial response experienced through simultaneous activation of multiple senses. 


An awareness and/or a way of knowing without rational evidence of its origin. 


At the end of our journey we enriched a campus-wise vernissage with eco installations for general enjoyment. When it was all well and done, we returned nature to nature.