Out of sight —evoking senses for tertiary students’ wellbeing.
Mental health concerns are evident among tertiary students in New Zealand. However, some tertiary learning institutions seldom notice the crucial role to design environmental abilities to enhance such well-being. Research says that the human body defines or recognises spaces through the stimulation of senses. It intends to seamlessly grasp the environment as an overall atmosphere, ambience, feeling, or mood. Therefore, the role of the senses is vital for humans to engage better in the environment.
The atmospherical experience of a space is often judged only by its visual quality. However, the environmental character is comprised of the multisensory engagement of the users. This multisensory engagement includes all the Aristotelian senses- seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, and tasting. The senses in an architectural realm can create room for mood, emotions, well-being, productivity, and even creativity for the users. This research explores the importance of providing a well-being initiative in a built environment to support sound mental health for the students. It focuses on how architecture and design can support well-being around institutional grounds.
The research aims to understand the impact that senses, light and nature have on architecture to achieve such holistic well-being for users. Qualitative research methods, including content analysis, literature review, and intuitive spatial explorations, are used to understand the role of an individual’s experience in a built environment. The research explores constructive approaches to designing a wellness environment for students through understanding the various atmospheres and affect. The implications are to provide recommendations for the architects to include such affective associations as a campus-wide well-being effort in the future.