Final Design Idea

After receiving feedback from the exhibition based on my developing designs, I concluded that it wasn’t the best way in visualising the data I collected and it didn’t include any multi-sensory design which my research and findings stem from. As a result of this, I have decided to re-evaluate what I would like to produce from my findings in the best way possible.

I was able to form this idea from the suggestions of my peers.

Using data collected from the most developed, developing and undeveloped countries vs London to explore/compare CO2 emissions, population, rise of sea levels and energy consumption through a multi sensory design installation.  

Initial ideas in the creation of the box:

  • Sight – size of boxes (gets bigger) – depending on the size of the population 
  • Sound – volume (increases) – a ‘ping’ sound could get louder depending on the amount of energy
  • Smell – intensity (increases)
  • Touch – weight (gets heavier) – depending on the amount of CO2 
  • Taste – ? 


I have chosen to look at the economic growth of a city as there is large differences between the different places.

  • Tokyo, Japan (developed)
  • Delhi, India (developing)
  • Ethiopia, Africa (undeveloped)
  • London, United Kingdom (developed, current location)

From large amount of research i collected previously to websites such as

Data collection:

1. London, United Kingdom (developed, location)

  • Population: 9,486,000 million – sight
  • CO2: 44.6 million tonnes (2016) – touch 
  • Sea levels (elevation): 11 m (above sea level) – sound 
  • Energy use:309 billion kwh – smell

2. Tokyo, Japan (developed)

  • Population: 13 million – sight 
  • CO2: 59 million tonnes – touch 
  • Sea levels (elevation): 40 m – sound 
  • Energy use: 64 billion tons – smell 

3. New Delhi, India (developing)

  • Population: 21.75 million – sight 
  • CO2: 69.4 million tonnes – touch 
  • Sea levels (elevation): 216 m – sound 
  • Energy use: 6,934 megawatt – smell

This process has been very simple in terms of collecting the information, I have gathered data from websites like

The World Data Bank.-


Sound – Articles

Smell – my own design thought.

Throughout the design process, blogs I will include the data that will be used to visualise the sense alongside the materials used. Now having this data I can begin to design.

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Development of ideas

This past week I have been working on developing my ideas.

Alongside this, I have begun creating prototypes to help inform my initial ideas to help visualise how it may possibly look.

This visualisation was based on the aesthetics of the box to understand font size and proportions.

I then went on to create a new idea and prototyped it


  • Each box will have a case study relating the area in London to back up its findings
  • The other faces of the box show recent data relating to the issue
  • The box will be clear with an item inside to contradict the data
  • The top of the box will have part of an outline of London which the user has to put together. This recognises how one issue can affect the city.

Design Idea

Climate change of London

What: Create a multi-sensory installation representing London’s climate change issues

Why: to raise awareness for climate change in London, largest city in Europe to see the current effects/causes of it today

How: Using an enclosed space to peak through into specific climate change issue at a global scale

Possible Areas:

  • Population
  • Pollution
  • Weather (flooding)


  • Each box represents a different/key aspects of climate change in London
  • Each box starts with a question, when the box is viewed it reveals an answer
  • Boxes – clear acrylic


  • Does it show suffering, is it optimistic or is it left up to the users?
  • All boxes represented through an ecosystem

Causes of London’s Climate Change

I have research on the causes of climate change in London. These sections will help me choose 4-6 areas to visualise as part of my final design.

Carbon emissions

A major cause has been through industrialisation, specifically over the last century. The last 50 years show carbon dioxide emissions have trembled due to the rapid industrialisation of developing economies.

Carbon emissions, global and UK emissions

This has similar trends to the UK, carbon dioxide emissions in London has been falling in both per capita. Between 2005-2013, total CO2 emissions in London fell by 11.6% with emissions by industry type falling by 9.9% for industry and commercial, 11.4% for domestic, and 15.3% from transport.

This could be due to:

  • Lower emission vehicles
  • Increased modal shift, like cycling and walking
  • implementation of emission standards

Air Quality

Carbon emissions have improved air quality. In London, this has led to the creation of Low Emission Zones. London’s air quality has had bad implications for the health of people. Having access to green space is important for attracting people to London. However, people living in poorer areas of the city are more exposed to poor air quality. 51% within the most deprived 10% of London have concentrations above the Nitrogen Dioxide EU limit value.

Brixton Road in Lambeth is one of the most polluted areas of London. Last year the air pollution was so severe it broke its annual legal limit. Readings taken in Brixton Road found levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), linked to nearly 5,900 early deaths a year, repeatedly breached the EU limit.Air pollution has gone unchecked in Brixton Road for six months after the street’s monitor broke in August 2018.

TfL estimate this will reduce NOx emission from road transport across London by 30 per cent as well as taking 100,000 people out of areas with illegal levels of air pollution. Oxford Street, Kings Road and the Strand are other high polluted areas. In the UK it is estimated that the air pollution that we breathe causes an estimated 40,000 early deaths per year.

Water Use

Water is an important part of environment; it services households and industry and sewerage. Thames has played an important part in the development of the capital as a centre for trade, through the import and export of goods and services. 16% of London’s land area is within a floodplain and further areas are at risk of surface water flooding. Well over a million people are in these floodplains, although for the majority, the risks are actually low.

As a city close to sea level there are impacts of climate change, specifically sea level rise, and increased expectations of more intense rainfall, leading to flooding. Droughts, intense rains and floods occur naturally and involve many factors of climate change. The Thames tidal flood defences protect over £200 billion of property from tidal flood risk and the Environment Agency will ensure this protection is maintained through the rest of the century. Authorities are now exploring ways to manage and reduce surface water flood risk.

Climate change and population growth, have led Thames Water to estimate that by 2050, without further action, London’s demand for water will exceed the available sustainable supply by 522 million litres per day by 2050. 

Energy Use

The UK is an importer of gas and other fuels making London’s energy supply reliant on with international energy supplies and markets. Over the last 10 yeara energy usage in London has fallen, the total energy consumption in London fell by 15.5% across home, commercial and transport sectors. London makes up 8.9% of the UK’s total energy consumption, which is smaller than London’s proportion of the UK population.

London’s energy system is changing due to the increasing demand for electricity and the Central Activities Zone and during peak times. Higher levels of development and London’s population are putting more pressure on an already stressed network. This results in incidents, such as blackouts.

With London’s population estimated to increase by around 3 million people, and add an additional 1.6 million homes by 2050, London’s need for energy may increase, an expected 20% increase in demand.

Waste and Recycling

As a major population centre, London produces a significant quantity of household waste as well as produces a large quantity of commercial waste, all of which needs to either be serviced in the capital or exported elsewhere. As London contains 13.2% of the total UK population and 22.5% of total economic output, it follows that the capital will produce a significant proportion of the total waste generated in the UK.

The way London produces and services waste has important implications for London’s natural environment. Resources like land and water are used in the production of goods and services. Attention needs to be given in how industrial activity impacts upon London’s natural capital. A growing population and increased business activity where waste recycling activity can take place in the capital, especially in the context of the competition and cost of land, which can also affect emissions through its travel.

There are opportunities for London to change how it treats waste, reducing the scale of waste going to landfill and encouraging the use of other materials. An example where London’s economy can adapt to changes in land use, business activity and the future needs of London’s population is through a circular economy. This keeps products, components and materials at their highest use and value at all times.

Climate Change in London

The United Kingdom has been a highly populated island for centuries. It is home to 66.4 million people and 8.1 million live in London, the capital city. The current environmental issues are through to have started during World War Two due to the demand in the production of goods services and infrastructure. The environment is fundamental to London’s economy as it impacts the health and quality of people. Maintaining high environmental standards and developing infrastructure will meet the needs of London’s economy and other future challenges.

Climate change:

Climate change remains a significant wish in the London economy, however, C02 emissions have fallen 11% since 1990. Global emissions have risen rapidly which is most likely to cause risk to London’s economy and environment.

In the UK a study was produced by Lord Stern he concluded:

“climate change will affect the basic elements of life for people around the world – access to water, food production, health, and the environment. Hundreds of millions of people could suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the world warms.”

He estimated if no action was taken it could reach its pre-industrial by 2013, along with a rise of over two degrees.

Central England Temperature – Mean Annual Data, 1900 – 2015

This chart outlines how the average temperatures have changed in the UK. The data shows over the last 100 years temperatures have increased gently, and 2014 being the warmest year on record to mean temperature.

Current + future effects of climate change:

Current and anticipated effects of climate change in London:

  • Hotter Summers
  • More frequent and intense heatwaves
  • Increast urban heat island effect
  • More intense rainfall
  • Changes in seasonality of rainfall
  • Sea level rise

These effects can cause an impact on London’s economy, eg. hotter summers. This can reduce productivity due to illness, more support is needed with energy supplies for air conditioning and increase rainfall means more flooding and sea level rise.

The Uninhabitable Earth

Many different environmental problems are continuously affecting every human, animal and population on this planet. There has been exploitation and deterioration through the years as many actions have not protected the world that has most likely cause flash floods, tsunamis and cyclones.

Environmental issues are caused by harmful effects based on the activity of human beings. Carbon dioxide, the equivalent of greenhouses gases have exceeded over 9000 parts which can hugely affect the atmosphere and is dangerous to climate change. These can possibly be irrrevserabke to ecosystems like the amazon rainforest and the artic through thr process of warming and drying.

In 2012 there were 905 natural disasters worldwide, 93% were weather related, this is up from around 50% from two decades ago.

Podcast: The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells.

This podcast introduces the area of climate change, its common misconceptions about it and whether we have to tools to combat it aswell as identifies human and climate causes.

Notes from the podcast:

  • Climate change is mostly to affect poor countries.
  • By 2050 Asia will be too hot to step outside
  • Admissions are always higher than the previous year
  • If the temperature rises between 2-4 degrees, there will be consequences
  • If it goes up by 8 degrees, 1/3 of countries will be deserted or people will die
  • Climate change can cause, more wars, mental health problems, rape, murder, increase the need for medication and more viruses
  • Some people think terrorism is caused by climate change
  • India has been/continues to be hit significantly hard because of its hot weather, river flooding, landscape and its position on the Equatorial band.
  • Climate change will improve the life and growth of Russia
  • This podcast questions that new technologies, such as Tesla are causing conflict on whether it has been created pride or wealth or for really helping the world.

This podcast was extremely useful and informative. From the information I have learnt I’m interested in looking specifically at the climate change issues within India. India has been spoken about a lot due to their extremely high pollution levels and dense population. I am interested in finding out how this cause for climate issues within the country.

Edit: Rather than looking at India, I have decided to look at London instead. Looking at climate change in London provides a level of reality, as most users will be from London and a greater impact that the information is portraying.

Design Thinking Ideation

I need to find an area which I can combine multi sensory design to as well as develop into my final outcome.

Based on my prototype, I thought it be practical and obvious to stay within the subject of the environment and choose an area.

I decided to brainstorm as many environmental issues:

  • Global warming
  • Climate change
  • Air quality
  • Seasons
  • Natural disasters – floods + hurricanes
  • Deforestation
  • Water scarcity
  • Flooding
  • Desertification
  • Ocean rubbish
  • Water pollution
  • Population growth/decline
  • Waste

I think researching into current environmental issues will provide more narrative through the multi-sensory design, compared to my prototype of seasons. The prototype has helped me introduced an interesting subject area and given me ways of producing somethiing that combines the two elements.

From the list I have created, I have chosen some areas that would be intresting to look further into:

  • Climate Change
  • Global warming
  • Population growth/ decline
  • Air quality

Design with Synesthesia

Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight. Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor.”

Scientists think that 4.4% of the population has some type of Synesthesia. It is most likely to be inherited and is unknown how it behaves in early and late life. When we look objects associations are automatically created. Specialised neurones in the brain help detect the thing through impulses. This is how the brain is able to make sense of everything and suppress the irrelevant information in our mind.

In the case of Synesthesia, unnecessary information if brought to the top, causing unusual sensory associations

There are over 80 different types of Synesthesia, here are the most common:

Grapheme-Colour Synesthesia – This is one of the most common types of synesthesia. A person who experiences this may associate letters or numbers with a specific colour. The colour they perceive is always consistent, meaning that if a person sees green when they see the letter “A,” they will always see green when the letter “A” appears.

Sound-to-Color Synesthesia (Chromesthesia) – An acoustic perception evokes a visual experience. Some people see music in shapes and colours.These synesthetic experiences are automatic and involuntary. But attention to the sense of hearing is needed to perceive it consciously. Often we miss our sense of and its synesthetic experiences due to the busy lives of people

Artist Timothy Layden created a series of paintings which “explores how the invisible world of sound can manifest itself visually through an overlapping of the senses.”

To form this synesthetic experience with visual and sonic art, sounds of the environment and the music which lay deeply within this were taken and formed into sound recordings. The recording were edited into a musical soundscape which documented colour, shape and movements. Once the sound structure and the corresponding drawings are made based upon the drawings, mixed media paintings are developed on paper registering the texture and movements of the sound.

HAPTIC ー Awakening the Senses

The term “haptic” means “relating or pleasant to the sense of touch”.

The HAPTIC exhibition was an experiment in becoming aware of the object making that originates in the human senses. The idea was to see what kinds of new designs would emerge if we make things focusing not on external factors like color, shape, texture and balance, but on how they would be sensed.


In 2004 Kenya Hara asked 22 participants, including architects, designers, a traditional Japanese plasterer and the design team of an electric appliances manufacturer to design an object driven specifically by the goal of “awakening the senses”.

“Long ago, we became a technology-driven society; that is technology leads not only the economy but also society. On the other hand, we might expect that going along with scientific progress, there might be an evolution of the making of objects pivoting on the pursuit of arousal of the senses. That contrasting world would be called “sense driven”. The concept of “haptic” becomes instantly tangible, benefitting tremendously from the participation of these brilliant creators.”

Some examples:

  • Panasonic Design Company: Gel Remote Control

Remote control that when switched off drops as if it were asleep. When it’s switched on, it becomes animated. It begins to breathe, to mimic sleeping with its stomach rising and falling. When a hand reaches for it a sensor feels the hand’s approach and the whole object begins to glow.

  • Naoto Fukasawa: Juice Skin

These design ideas have helped me considerably in understanding how different products and designs have been through multi-sensory design to help people.

  • Shuhei Hasado: Geta

Geta uses traditional Japanese footwear which the soles are covered with textured objects designed to make the wearer feel as though they are walking barefoot through the forest over moss, twigs or pine needles as well as identify the natural environment.

These examples that use multi-sensory design are extremely helpful and has given me an insight into new possible ideas for my final outcome. Each are very different from one another but are able to provide a different experience.

Interim Crit/Prototype

I explored my initial area of study (multi-sensory design) along with my research and presented my prototype.

Comments + Feedback:

  • Good introductory prototype
  • Remove the literal meaning of things, for example, grass

Overall I was extremely happy with how the crit went and the feedback that I received. Following on from this I would like to go back to my initial question and find any links within typography. If I am unable to find any information, I will revisit another area of multi-sensory design.

Prototype Creation


  • Cardboard Box
  • Laser cut text
  • Foamboard
  • Artificial Grass
  • Cut Grass oil
  • Mini Bluetooth Speaker
  • Sketch/image of a brook
  1. Once retrieving the laser cut cardboard box, I started painting it from a corrugated card colour to a light grey.
  2. I added a layer of foam board to the box which gave texture and depth to the letters
  3. The box had a large cut out box which artificial grass filled
  4. Inside of the box a compartment was made for a mini Bluetooth speaker to fit into and stop it from moving

The multiple senses that this prototype includes:

  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Sound
  • Touch
  • Painting
  • Interior, along with the addition of grass and speaker divider
  • The current state of the box
  • Also, grass oil was added to the grass along with a mini speaker as the sound of the brook.


Design choices:

  • A box would allow more other materials to be installed, allowing for multi-sensory design within one item
  • Painting the box light grey, enhanced the elements and worked well with the concept of Spring as its a clean, light colour
  • Likewise, with the colour, the font ‘Avenir’ was used to keep with the design and aesthetics of the poem due to its simple San-serif lines
  • Three dots were cut out from the box to provide sound through the box

Producing a physical prototype was an enjoyable experience as a large amount of my work is digital. Throughout this process, I was able to find multiple ways of providing multiple senses that would have not worked digitally.


  • A different way of representing a Brook: I thought of drawing it, but it may have been difficult to understand. To resolve this issue, I used a printed image of a Brook instead. It worked in explaining the context of the text but I don’t think it works with the design and aesthetics of the box.
  • The design: In my previous design, I showed the sentence on one line. I would have like to bring this across. After researching and buying multiple boxes, I wasn’t able to find a box of correct size and dimension which meant I had to compromise and use what I had. If I was more time, building my own box would have been useful and efficient.

Prototype Ideas

I have decided to experiment with multi-sensory design to develop a greater understanding of the subject and how users interact with the senses differently.

In order to combine multi-sensory design with text, I searched for various poems that could possibly work in showing these senses

A Country in Spring by Keng Lin

Spring’s blue water gushes down the hill,
Beside the brook the lush grass thickens.
No one remembers, and none can tell
Where winter’s wind has gone.
A sound as of a bell at noon,
Soft as the breeze in blossom-time,
Follows the freckled butterfly
Over springs country

Prototyping the whole poem would be too much, I have chosen to specifically design for “Beside the brook the lush grass thickens” as its very descriptive.

Initially, I decided to create an interactive digital interface that could combine various senses, preferably all of them

Initial Wireframe
Wireframe development

After some discussion, I realised this may not be the best way of incorporating a variety of senses as I was restricted to only sight and sound. The only way I could resolve this problem was making it physically.


To transform this to a physical product, I used the same designs of the digital version but instead of it being on an interface, It would be a box instead.

The next step is to start making it.