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Title: Multi-Sensory Experience, Positive Distractions and Well-being: The Role of Consumption Spaces in Total Healing Environment Paradigm
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: ICUH, San Francisco, USA
Citation: TRIVIC ZDRAVKO (2016). Multi-Sensory Experience, Positive Distractions and Well-being: The Role of Consumption Spaces in Total Healing Environment Paradigm. 13th International Conference on Urban Health (ICUH) - Place and Health : 136-136. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Our understanding and experience of the built environment are primarily shaped by multi‐sensory and emotional modes of exchange with space. Meaningful interaction with environmental stimuli and processing of multi-sensory information are vital for physical and psychological well-being. Yet, due to increased urban densification, hybridization and intensification, our contemporary cities are often either sensory overwhelming or sensory depleting. The premise is that in order to trigger suggestive and positive relationships between space and users, all segments of urban developments would need to acquire an active role of healing. Consequently, the objective of this paper is to discuss the capacities of contemporary shopping spaces to overcome the mere consumption motifs and to acquire a health-supportive role, in spite of their manipulative design and “quasi-public-ness”. Shopping malls have become influential model for various urban developments (including healthcare) and are tightly knitted into the everyday environment of many dense Asian cities, such as Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo. In these cities, they may arguably be seen as perpetual laboratories of “positive stress” (positive distractions). Qualitative approach employed consists of discourse analysis of health and space related theories and a comparative case study analysis of consumption spaces in Singapore (and Belgrade, Serbia). The case study analysis combines spatial explorations, first-person observations, participatory photo-journeys, multi-sensory mapping, interviews and on-site questionnaires. Key findings show that consumption space users tend to seek positive stimulation. The richness and arrangement of overall sensory information available in space (visual and spatial complexity, tactile, auditory, olfactory and gustatory) considerably shape users’ subjective perception of and emotional response to shopping environments. The presence of nature, micro-climate, way-finding, access, safety and hygiene, but also subjective bodily and mental self-awareness, crowd and shared identity, social activities and phantasmagorical experiences, are perceived as important ingredients of “healing places” and as “stress fighters” within high-density urban contexts.
Source Title: 13th International Conference on Urban Health (ICUH) - Place and Health
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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