Five Senses

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touch

Touch

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Our hands are an important link between our brains and the world. In fact, as humans we have more tactile receptors in our little fingers alone than we do on our entire back1. These receptors help us explore objects in our surroundings. When we encounter a pleasant touch, the brain releases a hormone called oxytocin, leading to feelings of well-being and calm1.

When it comes to sensory design, our touch experience includes material, surface, temperature, weight and form. Textiles are one of the most evaluated decisions in lounge projects. “Touching a chair is the most personal experience that a customer will have,” says Belinda Bennett of Bennett Design Group. “The feel of a textile can create a comfort zone away from home.” Bennett often selects soft, textured fabrics that automatically make a person want to relax and stay put. People are drawn to natural materials because they possess an innate richness and warm up an environment through texture, says Mary Piette of the Bommarito group. Stone, for one, exudes an aura of strength and coolness2.

1 Sensory Marketing, Hulten, Bertil, Niklas Broweur and Marcus Van Dijk. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
2 Come to Your Senses, Catherine Warren Leone. Perpectives, 2008.