Sensory Design Curriculum

The Course I teach at CIID Interaction Design Program

I have been teaching a new course in called Sensory Design where I engage students in thinking outside of traditional sensing technologies and interfaces and consider new ways in which they can explore sensing.


As new technologies emerge, the designer’s role becomes ever more multi-dimensional. We are not only augmenting our bodies but also our surroundings, exploring our sensing systems in ways we have not before.  Exclusively or multi-dimensionally, designers can begin to explore visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, olfaction and vestibular networks.   

As an example, consider the sense of smell - it is not one we design for everyday. But just like all aspects of design, the sense of smell affects the way we think, remember, and engage with the world around us.  Consider this thought for all other senses; what if designers were to facilitate and frame multi-sensory interactions? 

Through highlighting the sense of taste, smell, balance, sound and tactility, this course focuses on designing various objects and experiences with hands-on workshops while engaging with local experts in each field, practicing various approaches for tuning in to a specific sense and exploring methods to inspire new design outcomes. One ‘sense’ per day, the students had the chance to learn, document and tinker with new mediums while having the opportunity to connect with mentors and create in multidisciplinary teams. Prototypes have included included smells or food.



  • Learn how to apply design skills and framing to any seemingly distant field
  • Engage with local Experts 
  • Work with multidisciplinary teams - creating new languages for design
  • Inspire through hands on workshops 
  • Become tuned in to each sense through sense modules / e.g. No-sound-hour
  • Connect with technology gurus as necessary
  • Explore new material and medium for interaction design   


  • Prototypes/ Mockups with new medium for sensing such as smellables and tastables
  • Document Photographs and Share 
  • Team engagement and building
  • Creation of novel ideas in short period of time to sketch out proototypes rapidly
Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 2.32.03 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 2.32.01 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 2.31.59 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 2.31.51 AM.png