Sensory Navigation in the City Centre. Perceptual paths, sense walks and interactive atmospheres

Carolina Vasilikou

Keywords: sensory navigation, multisensory perception, sense walks, notation, interactive sensory maps

While walking in the city, the senses play an essential role in navigation and human behaviour, providing rational grounds for knowledge and action. Traditionally, different scientific disciplines have understood the senses as separate channels for collection of information from the environment. Recently, it has become clear that the senses together form an integrated knowledge-gathering system. This paper investigates the nature of this integration during the spatial experience of wayfinding and navigation in the city. The paper presents the first findings of a community engagement project exploring the sensory and spatial experience of the heritage city centre of Canterbury (UK). This approach brings to the foreground the significance of combining objective data with subjective evaluations of spatial quality and use of urban spaces. The project outcome proposes an interactive representation of sensory-intensive experiences, mapping and notation.