Sensory Landscapes

Developing a Design-oriented Approach to Mapping for Healthier Landscapes


  • Judith van der Elst
  • Heather Richards-Rissetto
  • Lily Díaz-Kommonen



 Landscape design needs a novel value system centred on human experience of the landscape rather than simply on economic value. Design-oriented research allows us to shift the focus from mechanistic paradigms towards new sense-making approaches that value both the sensual and the cognitive in human experience. To move in this direction, we investigate cultural and natural aspects of sensory experience in rural landscapes, arguing that: (1) rural (non-urban) regions offer diverse sensory experiences for optimising human health; and (2) spatial interconnectedness between rural and urban areas means that healthy rural regions are critical for urban development. Our key argument is that many rural landscapes contain intrinsically valuable traditional practices that create multisensory experiences with untapped benefits for human wellbeing, particularly in the auditory and olfactory realms, and thus a mapping system that accounts for sensory experience is required.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

van der Elst, J., Richards-Rissetto, H., & Díaz-Kommonen, L. (2018). Sensory Landscapes: Developing a Design-oriented Approach to Mapping for Healthier Landscapes. Landscape Review, 18(1).