Research Sense & Care

sensory experience

Sense & Care is a platform for research founded by Jeanne Dekkers Architectuur and ZOETMULDER. This platform is working on the research involving the sensorial experience as a starting point for the built environment. In the literature about sensory perception, from Juhani Pallasmaa until Peter Zumthor and others, they constantly referenced to atmosphere. Analyzing what creates a good atmosphere requires more study. It would be good to introduce a language through this study, which can be used to design with the senses and not only talk about atmosphere in descriptions. Design tools will be developed from the analysis of sensory perception, which will be used into the design process.


The design of our environment deserves more attention per square meter. The realization of megalomaniac structures where people live like ants trying to feel home leaves little space for the individual. Lost in the rush of traffic, a train or a mall people search for an individual place to work and live. This daily ritual makes it difficult for people who has the need for special care and a balance in life to find themselves and keep developing and function in the society. The design of our environment must be considered from the experience of the individual. The role of the senses and thereby the sensory experience of the built environment is of great importance.


The built environment is designed from square meters, but experienced from atmosphere. We translate square meters into an atmosphere that matches the dream of the client, the wishes of the users and the specific characteristics of the place. We’ve developed a special tool for this: the Program of Experience ™. In various discussions with the client and users, it is determined which sensory experience the different spaces should carry. We shape this atmosphere by taking into account materialization, color, human size and proportion. This creates high-quality spaces where everyone feels comfortable!

With the design tool ‘Program of Experience™’ we go through the following 5 steps:

1. Inventory of space types
We make an inventory of the space types of the Program of Requirements and link them to scale areas.

2. Draw up an atmosphere description
A description and mood board of the desired atmosphere is made on the basis of the spaces and scale areas. This is done in consultation with users and the client. The atmosphere description is linked to the Schedule of Requirements.

3. Draw up sensory analysis
Various sensory experiences are recognized in the described sphere. These are further specified and described on the basis of a sensory analysis. The sensory analysis is linked to the Schedule of Requirements.

4. Derive materials and shape
Materials and shapes are determined from the sensory analysis and atmosphere description. These are used as input for the design.

5. Drawing up a Program of Experience checklist
A checklist is drawn up in connection with the Program of Requirements: the Program of Experience. This consists of the atmosphere descriptions, the sensory analysis and the derived shapes and materials. On the basis of the checklist, upon completion of a phase, it can be checked whether the drawn up Program of Experience is still in the design.



Sense & Care Platform