Sensory design is a type of design that interacts with people via shapes, forms, and other audio-visual factors. This sort of design influences human spatial recognition and boosts multi-sensory development (proprioception, kinesthesia, and vestibular sense). Eventually impacts various behavioural patterns in a subtle way. Parametric formations – tangible shapes and forms or animated projections, are a part of a wide range of multi-sensory design features. This study tests the hypothesis that the application of technology behind the parametric design approach shapes up visual perception and impacts human sensory integration in a controlled way.


MORI teamlab
Fig. 03. MORI Museum, „Borderless” Exhibition, Tokyo | Wander through the crystal world

Interior design summed up to one term would be called a space experience. It involves processing this experience and format in our brain as a cognitive response. At any given time, the human brain creates a spherical information dome. Visual information processing causes cognitive illusions that influence our sensory information. Recent discoveries on the human brain, mentioned in this paper, give us access to more specific data that can be, analysed, and applied for interior design purposes. The role of human senses on spatial perception has to be clearly understood to offer a designer a new set of tools that can create better interior design practices (A.Asanowicz, 2017;). However, not much research has been done to understand the relationship between parametric formations and human multi-sensory integration on the behavioural level yet. This paper is an answer to a question: how does algorithmic programming and parametricism influence sensory design but also, how can designers use this knowledge practically?

„Interior design makes us experience a space. It is a subtle act of the human body and mind. Space is self evident, but the way we perceive it is not. Our brain builds a spherical dome of information surrounding us at any point.”

refik anadol
Fig. 05. Refik Anadol Studio, parametric sculpture „Machine Hallucination”
A – Aim
This paper shows that visual perception of a place integrated with the technology used for parametric design can influence human multi-sensory integration in a controlled way (Fig.03).
B – Objectives
Objectives of the study are:
To explore parametric formations, the technology behind them, and their application. (Chapter A,C)
To explore human brain behaviour on spatial mapping and a reaction trigger for subsequent decision making. (Chapter B)
To analyse the impact of form and shape on human spatial perception and cognitive response. (Chapter C, Conclusion)


XXI century offers new algorithmic computer technologies that shape our reality in design, transform it, and even bring it closer to nature. Cross-section analysis is necessary for both parametric design and available audio-visual projection mapping technologies. „Contemporary animation and special-effects software are just now being introduced as tools for design rather than as devices for rendering, visualisation, and imaging .” (G.Lynn “Animate Form” 1999;).
The initial inspiration for this analysis is spaces created in sensory museums, like Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan – with The teamLab Borderless digital exhibition (Fig.04-06). It became a worldwide success, with 3.5 million visitors, for its unique spaces created with just light and sound. Projection mapping of unique parametric animations displayed equally on horizontal and vertical surfaces (walls, ceiling, floors) created a set of new stimulations taking a visitor into an unknown, idyllic world. 

Moving along different exhibition setups that flow between one chamber to another, visitors are grasped on a multisensory journey, boosting their creativity and leaving with a positive impact on their wellbeing:
(1) A remarkable, immersive digital art experience. I felt like I was in a dream the whole time.
(2) An absolute blast no matter your age! Everything is interactive and vibrant, and you feel as if you have stepped into a different world (Source: comments on These effects are created using computer programs based on complex mathematical equations to generate three-dimensional objects with poly surfaces (Fig.07-08). These are then transformed per display requirements and, finally, animated. The technology makes all look very realistic like any other object we know from “real life,” including the same qualities like width, depth, and height. Achieving this level of accuracy would not be possible with simple 2-D animations.  

A similar effect was achieved when designing a new store display for a cloth brand – ZARA, located in NYC. A display that is alive due to an algorithm moves and transforms in a parametric way, amazing passers-by, who are tempted to get in out of curiosity. This display is an example of parametric formations application for interior design. Projections can be multi-thematic, and their inspiration can come from any source. Sound or other sensory attractions can combine the visual effect to integrate holistically and deliver a genuinely multi-sensory experience to a visitor. Depending on the brief requirements and specifics, users can receive a customised experience that will impose particular behaviour, like a boost of happiness and eagerness to spend money, to name a few. It could create a perfect combination for a retail space, for example. If a projection can influence human perception and subsequent decision-making, perhaps a volumetric space designed with the same tools can too.

Going deeper into the subject and trying to understand how the two above examples have been created, one must dive into the technical side of the visual projection. The same programming technology is used in advanced CAD (computer-aided design) software and 3D computer graphics applications (i.e., Autodesk, Rhino, Graphisoft, Blender) (Camba, Contero, and Company; P-22). Node-based scripting tools and visual programming engines allow us to design new forms and shapes not only for interior design and architecture. For instance, 3D applications may include video games, animated films, TV series, visual effects, etc. When applied for architecture, functions like: modelling, animation, simulation, and rendering, are used to deliver complex built forms and installations, from  prominent significant skyscrapers to bridges and public interior spaces (Banihashemi, Tabadkani, and Hosseini: p-10). 


Fig. 07. Particles flow generated in Blender software, 3-D objects with poly surfaces.
Fig. 08. ZARA Store front display showcasing a parametric projection created with Blender.


Fig. 09. Hyperloop Campus layout. Top view showcasing parametricism in design.
Fig.10. Sagrada Familia Basilica ceiling view, Antonio Gaudi.

A – Parametric design definitionOne should consider a saddle that is specifically designed to alleviate any sort of indication of Attention deficit in addition viagra tablet price to individuals normally be handed a normal treatments for stimulant harmful drugs to alleviate the signals. Of AYUSH that acts as sildenafil tablets uk the regulatory and governing body for the entire administration and practice of traditional medicine systems in India including Ayurveda. Properties of cialis 20 mg This medicine is formulated with complete high quality standards and ensures 100 percent safety and effectiveness. Taking the online order for viagra medicine under recommended instructions is very important for avoiding its after-effects.
The new forms and shapes mentioned previously are created with a parametric design approach. Characteristic for this mathematical origin design is the relationship between parameters of elements, informing the design of complex geometries and structures.(Fig.09). There must be at least two parameters where one modifies the other.
B- Parametric design history of the term
A new term coined by Patrik Schumacher in 2008 that appeared first in the early 70’ to describe curves through parametric equations, widely introduced in the past three decades by architects. For example, Zaha Hadid or Renzo Piano. Characteristic of this architecture trend, curved lines remind a lot of organic, nature-based shapes. Repetitive elements of different sizes match one another, as if – they were one-piece objects, creating fine, architectural pieces that remain a supreme engineering achievement. The most famous example of analogue parametric design is Antonio Gaudi with his Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona (Fig.10) and contemporary Heydar Aliyev Center, in Baku, Azerbaijan by Zaha Hadid (Romaniak, and Filipowski; p-390) – Fig.11-12. Her signature curvy lines shape both the exterior and interiors of the building, making a visitor experience a new sensation of space.
C – Parametric design application
The new spatial experience is delivered with the use of algorithmic programming. It allows designers to propose an organic feel combined with interesting volumetric forms rather than the interior decor. Architects were used to geometric shapes: from Egyptian pyramids to cube-shaped rooms. But it is no longer the only way for residential or commercial interior spaces. The cube is the most unnatural shape, man-made. Studies (by the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter) prove that nature-like looking spaces and bio-forms make humans feel better, and they have a direct correlation with our wellbeing

D – Perception of space
The multi-sensory design acknowledges that people react to space in a variety of ways, both consciously and subconsciously. Advances in neuroscientific technologies have made it possible to investigate the impact of various architectural styles on human perception (Gustafsson , Sofie). Any spatial designer should better understand this topic and use tools that encourage creating spaces that perform better. Architectural studies were built on philosophical conceptions of behavioural patterns in order to link human responses to design. While such approaches give descriptive data, they can not adequately define the reasons for certain behaviours. Neuroscientific research has sought to bridge the gap between architecture and psychology creating new links between spatial stimulus and reaction (M. Banaei, 2017) . F inally, spatial designers gain knowledge in areas where they used to base on intuition.

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Case Study_01


To be able to transform a space is a domain of a designer. This first case study exemplifies how the technology behind the parametric design can transform a space into a source of happiness, positiveness, inspiration, and relaxation. Delivering unique, multi-sensory experiences at the Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo, where the boundary between art and a user is blurred, the teamLab had to adapt the art installations and the compositions directed by the floor map (Fig.20). To achieve the extraordinary effect, the light in the form of projection was used as a pigment. 524 Epson projectors are used across the Mori Building to bring approximately 60 works of art to life. The projectors include Epson EB-L1105U units, EB-L1505UH high brightness units, EB700U ultra-short-throw units, and various lenses. While the visuals are the focus of the artwork, teamLab has not overlooked the audio components. Soundscapes aid in the blending of the many artworks. The use of spatial sound can make viewers feel more immersed. MA/PA and XMV series power amplifiers provide audio for Yamaha VXC and VXS series loudspeakers (source: Inavate). The technology made it possible to create such outstanding spaces, which wouldn’t be possible a century ago. It proves the right technology can be a powerful tool in the hands of a designer.
Facing the fact that not all buildings are appealing, not all spaces are human-friendly, therefore such a tool to deliver a sensory experience in any interior must be treated equally with other more traditional ways in the design niche. The application can be broad: from interactive museums to schools, public spaces, offices, airports, and even hospitals, prioritising the welfare quality improvement of its users. It can have a tremendous effect and impact people’s well-being and behaviour. For example, could hospitals be elevated into healing centres? Airports into chilling destinations? Schools into play zones where education happens? Just by using the proper shape, form, and animated parametric projections – perhaps so. Indeed, designers already have the know-how.

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A DATANOVA (data supernova) visual art projection is the best example of VR and parametric design synergy, explaining how these two work together hand in hand. The outcome transforms reality (e.g., a street, a building) into what the creator desires. Ouchhh and GrandSon used New York star map data and combined it with the parametric architecture. To do that, primitive objects were used through abstract visuals. The projected motion of these abstracts transformed the building’s facade from its current form into a backdrop for the show. Thanks to the clever use of graphics and 3D animations, NY City’s features and peculiarities were merged into geometric harmonies, abstract figures, and skyline for data sculpture experience to significant effect (Fig.21). The idea that the universe is driven by an invisible code that puts all matter, animate and inanimate, into harmony adds an extra dimension to the composition. Audio-visual projections created with parametric formations are a powerful instrument, transforming a building into a piece of art “projected” on a wall (source: Very soon, every retail space, every office, or even every living room can benefit from the possibility of transforming reality with light and sound. We are only waiting for new technological solutions to be produced and widely accessible at a reasonable price to see this happen. Very soon, the static world we know today can be converted into digital artwork powered by technology and parametric formations. However, do we understand it enough to know how to manipulate human perception ethically?

Case Study_03


The Hyperloop Desert Campus by Zaha Hadid Architect Mariana Cabugeira talks about form, shape, and spatiality. It is yet another way of using algorithmic programming, present in previous case studies. The software used to create this curvy design is of the exact origin as other parametric projections described in this paper. As Greg Lynn stated in his book “Animate Form” (1999): “Contemporary animation and special-effects software are just now being introduced as tools for design rather than as devices for rendering, visualisation, and imaging.”

With the right tool and parametric design approach, we can transform an experience of highly unfavourable, most resilient spaces like the Mojave Desert (Nevada, USA) into a pleasurable experience that can be adapted as a human-friendly oasis (Fig.22). The complex of interconnected four loops creates a symbiosis between the landscape and technology, organising a unique space experience for visitors. “Parametric design was beneficial when creating the landscape design. The form came very fluid and had a lot of repetition.” (M. Cabugeira, Interview by Urszula Zwierzynska, 2021, See appendix 2 p.40)

In the interview with the purpose of this paper, co-designer, Mariana Cabugeira, was asked about the impact of the parametric design approach on the Hyperloop Project. She undoubtedly confirmed that the keyword for this sort of design is optimisation.
“We learned parametric architecture from nature. Nature grows for survival only. Everything in nature evolved to survive. That’s exactly what we have learned from nature to apply to architecture. I believe that the optimisation that comes with parametric architecture is the key for the future.” (Interview by Urszula Zwierzynska, 2021, See appendix 2 p.40)

Looking at the design’s top view (Fig.23), the organic shape gives a positive vibe. Its covet aesthetics is astonishing to the point that it is inspiring. One could wonder how anyone could come up with such an idea. Mariana’s approach was very different from traditional.

“I think it is a natural way for architecture to progress. We still haven’t proven that human comfort comes from 90degree angles. We kept the 90degree box architecture in the utter world for some reason. I believe that comfort comes from organic shapes, not from corners but soft corners. We, as humans, come from fully organic space, a mother’s womb. So, it makes no sense to impose harsh geometries on us. The concept for interior design was an “oasis” that lived in a microsystem and hyperloop with speed and technology. By merging it all, I got four units with four courtyards connected with a loop—”(M. Cabugeira, personal interview, 2nd September 2021)

The above picture shows that the views are incredible and make us feel like being in some kind of virtual reality. It is sensory design at its highest. By naming the feelings, the image imposes: inspiration, positiveness, happiness and attraction. It proves that the survey described in previous chapter has successfully examined the impact of parametric shapes on the human psyche.

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Refik Anadol, a contemporary multimedia artist, uses parametric algorithms (yet another form of parametric approach application) to create live artwork, which by all means impacts every single spectator by evoking all sorts of emotions related to the sense of sight. In one of his installations, ‘Virtual Depictions: 2015′, he turned the hall wall of the 350 Mission Building in the recentre of San Francisco into a series of dynamic, changing images, telling the city’s story and its people (Fig.24-25). It looks nothing as one can expect. Gigabytes of data like videos and images were translated by an algorithm to process data into a series of animated frames (10,000-18,000) in VII chapters, displaying three-dimensional parametric sculptures. The hall’s 40-meter-high wall is transformed into the living matter by abstract pictures that make up a 90-minute spectacular. The fact that Virtual Depictions: San Francisco’ installation is visible from the street, through the building’s vast glass wall, the essential surface considered a skin, added to the installation’s monumentality. The digital artwork, which is created as parametric formations, represented by colour, shape, and animated forms, converses with local people even before entering the space. Phantasmagoric pictures, blending seamlessly into surroundings, reach out to the crowd to attract potential users or customers and invite them to come inside (Fig.25). Such behaviour is not forced, meaning driven by a commercial advertisement but organic, caused by own curiosity. Such installation is a direct invitation for everyone to take a break from the real world that surrounds us by immersing ourselves in non-reality for a short while (Bhooshan, P; 115-143).
Art has always been a tremendous significant influence on people’s behaviour, opinions, and even values – shaping societies and allowing broad communication. For example, in the release of parametric formations, as suggested by Refik Anadol through his installation, an artwork offers designers a new tool for creating multi-sensory spaces of various meanings. It showcases algorithmic projections within an interior design setup and directly impacts human multi-sensory integration on the behavioural level. Designers can use such projections for multiple purposes, depending on the client’s brief and building adaptation. Specific user’s behaviour can be influenced by a unique image or animation. The question is: what do we need? Do we need a customer to feel happy, to spend money, to subscribe and be loyal to a brand? A code of ethics has to be evoked as there are too many possibilities that come from this sort of multi-sensory design. Designers need to be aware not to step into the manipulative design instead.

Fig. 26. Refik Anadol Studio, parametric sculpture „Machine Hallucination”


We are witnessing a transition into a new era of interior design where algorithmic design through a parametric approach becomes a powerful tool in a hand of a designer, allowing to create spaces that influence human spatial recognition in a controlled way and impact human sensory integration.

By understanding how certain properties of a space like a shape, form or colour trigger cognitive response in our brain, designers in their work, can consciously use the knowledge rather than based on intuition. The simple survey that was conveyed for the purpose of this dissertation is the beginning of the discovery of a spatial stimulus – as a cause, and effect – to a behavioural reaction. This paper proves that there is a direct link between the form and shape of the surrounding space and the emotional response of a user. The complex mechanism of spatial recognition takes place in our brain via the hippocampus. The reaction is recorded through cortex cells and builds up our autobiographical memory, frequently touching the spheres of inhabitants’ emotions.

Continuing to research this link, it is clear that interior design and interior architecture will drift towards such technological solutions, shapes and forms or other audio-visual effects – that will contribute to the greater enthusiasm of users in their spaces. Will it be a hospital, an airport, an office or even a private house. Furthermore, the approach can be visible from the envelope of a building to its interiors. Those could easily be integrated with an installation of a living matter that would breathe the spirit to the space and transform it given a certain context. The static space we know will change on account of more digital space, advanced by technology. This opens up a new avenue for interior design to think of space as a kinetic experience rather than of a steady backdrop. Implementing parametric projections with audio-visual factors within a space showcases sensory design at its best. Depending on the context the projections can vary from super abstract to more natural. The application of such projections is only known to vertical and horizontal surfaces and all volumetric forms, but perhaps this will develop to other means like air – to influence our sensorial experience even deeper.

Greg Lynn was right back in 1999 by noticing the shift in the design world towards “an animated design” created with the use of algorithmic programming. “The shift from a passive space of static coordinates to an active space of interactions”. (1999). 

As per case studies, scientific research and interview with the Lead Designer at Zaha Hadid (ZHA) Mariana Cabugeira, this paper holds a proof that designers have a new set of tools to better shape our environments and boost the multi-sensory integration in a controlled way. From a macro-scale: by transforming a resilient environment, like a desert or an underground into something habitable (Caste Study no. 3), to a micro-scale: by stimulating human behaviour and subsequent decision making (Case Study no. 1,2,4, and ZARA front store). The designer expertise exceeds greatly from the core of the field towards a more broad definition of space formation, which is no longer intuitive, but, for example, parametrically defined. It is all possible thanks to evolving programming software that became a tool in a hand of a contemporary designer and an architect. Therefore the influence of algorithmic programming and parametricism on sensory design is becoming more visible with the development of technology in time.

This article, by virtue of its broad scope, opens a door that can be utilised for a variety of reasons. To a future framework that holistically integrates parametric design with visual perception, giving the world a better place to live by making design processes more efficient, effective, optimal, rational, and resource efficient.

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