Thesis & Dissertations

Multisensory Approach in designing Architectural Spaces: Enhancement of user’s experience in classroom environment


This research presents a thick study of the multisensory approach in architecture based on an interrelation between human senses and perceptions with their occupied spaces in terms of physical architectural attributes and indoor environmental qualities, focusing on the educational classrooms, preliminary phase as typology. The study explores the relation between human and its space, which is developed through the engagement of his/her mental and physical insights with his built environment. A good human life is by bridging the neuroscience and architecture; psychological, physiological and phenomenological effects on human activities, experience and behavior. Focusing on the learning spaces typology, the brain development between ages 5 to 12 is significant; neuroscience research highlighted a relationship between the classroom effect with this development and provided valuable information on the influence of the physical environment on teaching performance and student achievement. The enhancement of the teacher/student experience in the public classrooms in Lebanon is absent, due to the lack in the improvement of the “Guidelines and Standards Governing Public Schools Buildings” set by the Government from 2002. While it was verified, that bad stimulations of senses and inadequate environmental qualities affect pupil’s performances, behavior, wellbeing, etc., an absence in setting clear measures and indoor space requirements in the current School decree 9091 is demonstrated, showing a significant gap to reach a user centered paradigm and a multisensory approach in designing architectural spaces. The aim of this research is to enhance the user multisensory experience, so his engagement, satisfaction and comfort in the classroom by good stimulation of his senses and perception. Based on international standards and latest European research projects targeting the correlation between human sensual-perceptual experience with the indoor environmental qualities towards better learning, the practical framework is conducted. Three classrooms prototypes in three Lebanese Public Schools were evaluated through a design checklist, a questionnaire for pupil’s evaluating their physical space and an architectural analysis showing significant environmental deficiencies in the student-teacher learning environment. The framework of this study is targeting the improvement of the Lebanese regulations for schools by following a new classification of classroom architectural attributes: temperature, sound, air quality, ownership, link to nature, light, complexity, connection, color. Moreover, it will address the effective role of user, as a real assessor of his own space, for architects and designers as future recommendations for multisensory architectural approach.


Roua Ghosh


Associate Prof. Dr. Hesham El-Arnaouty, Assistant Prof. Dr. Samer El Sayary