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Thank you for taking our

multi-sensory profile quiz

The below information can be useful to guide you as part of your decision-making process at the early design stage. Being aware of your sensory needs is one of the most important aspects of human-centred design and we recommend that the enclosed responses is printed and attached to the client brief document for discussion with your architect.

1. I don’t like to see clutter in my home and like everything in dedicated storage.

If you agree then you prioritise the need for organisation and household items having a place. You tend not to agree with the concept of ‘ organised chaos’ and prefer for things be hidden from view rather than on display. Visual clutter causes stress because of the excessive visual stimuli. It also signals to our brains that our work is never done and creates guilt, anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed. One of the benchmarks of tackling clutter is having adequate storage.

If you disagree then it is a good exercise to explore if perhaps other types of clutter may bother you in terms of stimulus overload i.e. olfactory ( smell), acoustic ( noise)

2. I find centre lights in a room too bright.

If you agree- brighter lights in a room can intensify emotions and overwhelm. For many using mood lighting offers a better way to create a mood specific brightness. Dimmed lighting can also induce relaxation so when designing a space it is important to understand the use and functions of each room and space.

If you disagree- You may not be overstimulated by lighting and there may be other aspects of the home that are more stimulating. It would be essential also to explore how natural light affects you and if you may prefer more of this in certain areas ( if you don’t mind brighter lights good natural light will be important for you) Also ask your architect or lighting designer to explain Lux lighting levels to assess optimum for your needs.

3. People speaking loudly bothers me more than background noise in a café.

If you agree- Noise can be categorised according to Continuous, Intermittent, Impulsive or low frequency. If the continuous noise of people talking loudly bothers you then it is important that you communicate this with your architect in terms of acoustic design in the busy spaces in your home.

If you disagree- then you may be more susceptible to the other three forms of noise and each are essential to explore as part of a design brief to ensure good acoustic design in your home.

4. I prefer if something works well rather than what it looks like.

Function over form is important to you; how something works is more important than the aesthetic. There is a fine balance, however and good design is about balancing the two principles. Some homeowners may prefer counter space over an island and while an island is aesthetically pleasing it can take up a lot of room in a smaller space where sqm are a premium.

5. I prefer a space that has no steps.

If you agree – it is important to explore your sense of balance and why you don’t like level changes and steps. For many it is about future proofing a home as we get older, it may be for family members who have balance issues. Alternatively if you have a sloping site with level changes and steps are unavoidable it is important to communicate this with your architect so that together you can find ways to minimise steps.

6. It bothers me when strangers stand too close to me when talking.

If you agree- Proxemics is the study of how people structure their space around them. Spacing is divided up into Intimate (0-2 ft.), Personal (2-4 ft), Social (4-12 ft.)and Public (more than 12 ft.) If you are designing your space then it is very important that you consider the interactions in each space and how the rule of proxemics will work to suit your spacing needs.

If you disagree- some people are more aware of their personal space than others and perhaps you may become more aware if the acoustics are louder or more concentrated or your olfactory sense (of smell) is activated due to proximity so it is prudent to explore whether any of these stimuli affect your sense of spacing.

7. I don’t enjoy cooking in a very bright space.

We all want brightness and as much light in our homes, however when you are in a kitchen where there are appliances heating the space ( cooker/ oven) it is important that the space is not directly facing south. This can be very uncomfortable and can also cause problems with food / plants/ fresh fruit stored on counters. An ideal orientation for a kitchen is

8. The heart of the home is the kitchen.

If you agree- For many of use growing up daily life revolved around the kitchen. For others it may have been more of a functional space that prepared food solely. Exploring where the heart of the home is for you in your home is very important and understanding the stimuli that are associated with memory when designing your space.

If you disagree- you may have other deep-rooted memories and these can often be based on whether you spent a lot of time in the home. Many clients spent their childhood outdoors and the kitchen was purely a place to eat, while other clients remember the kitchen as a place where family gathered to talk with the table having a ritualistic importance. Think about whether it may be external to the house i.e. garden or another space.

9. I need time to recharge alone after a busy day.

If you agree- You will need more than likely need transition time after work and need a space that is zoned private away from the main living area. This can also be achieved in the main living area by separating a space within a room.

If you disagree- you are happy to come home from work or if working from home you don’t necessarily need to have the public / private separation to recharge. You may recharge on the drive home or do sport or exercise before you come.

10. I don’t like the feeling of large expanses of glass in a room.

If you agree – you need to think about the particular room, the activities that will take place in this room and how much you will use this room. If you plan on having a room with lots of glass that you will watch TV mainly at night, then you need to think if you will feel comfortable in this space. Will you be covering it with curtains or blinds also.

If you disagree- you will also need to think about the use for the room. Do you want to feel cosy in that room, are you capturing a specific view or will you be using it during the day to capture full daylight.