Rural Sense: Value, Heritage, and Sensory Landscapes: Developing a design-directed approach to mapping for healthier landscapes

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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.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-71
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Design theory, sensory experience, landscape heritage value, humanistic approach in geoscience, HCI, design

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