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Sensory Journey embodies truly equitable placemaking inviting all people, irrespective of ability, to come together for shared learning, enjoyment, and social bonding.

The architects’ guide throughout the project was the enhanced awareness and respect for the beauty of nature.

Inspiring visitors to think carefully about their carbon footprint and their use of natural resources was the focus of the architects’ journey.

For its inspiring, low-tech design, Sensory Journey Art Omi Sculpture Park has recently received a 2022 Green Good Design Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

As visitors walk through Sensory Journey, they encounter a series of interactive elements and spaces to gather.

The pavilion frames views, provides shade, and is a place to picnic.

However, beyond the pragmatic, it is a place of playful encounters focusing the senses on the fragility of the natural world.

The experience goes beyond vision to olfactory, haptic, auditory, and tactile experiences and is fully accessible to those with wheelchairs or mobility issues.

The pavilion consists of three material and functional components: 1. 126, 4×4-inch, 10-foot-high wood posts that are stained black.

They are organized into a three-part pathway that leads from the woods to an open meadow.

The wood frames create an armature for sensory experiences that can be collective or personal.

The 125-foot path runs on the east/west compass points to create a visceral connection for solar orientation.

The fire pit relates to the seating and table, fostering a sense of social bonding amongst neighbors, classmates, and new friends.

The Art Omi staff conducts educational classes for children and events at the pavilion.

Four types of sensory experiences are created and custom-fabricated metal elements are distributed throughout the wooden structure:

– Green: Please smell! Two clusters of pipes hover over herbs.
– Blue: Please look! Periscopes aim at the trees and the sky, focusing on the details of flora as it changes with the seasons.
– Coral: Please listen! Wind chimes swing from the joists above, ringing in the breezes.
– Yellow: Please talk! 30-foot lengths of pipe with horns at either end, one above, hung from the beams and one below ground.

These interventions allow visitors to engage in different ways with surprising, low-tech inventions.

Sensory Journey is a humble, very low-budget project.

It was painted and constructed in part by the architect’s studio, and represents its belief in education and community engagement.

Studio Joseph is committed to inspiring environmental awareness and human equity, respecting all people no matter their unique way of experiencing the world.

Project: Sensory Journey Art Omi Sculpture Park
Architects: Studio Joseph
Design Team: Wendy Evans Joseph, Monica Coghlan, Jose Luis Vidalon, and Shuo Yang
Fabricator: Southside Design and Fabrication, Guigon
Client: Art Omi, Inc.
Photographers: Alon Koppel

Source: Studio Joseph has created an olfactory, haptic, auditory, and tactile experience that encourages visitors to think carefully about their carbon footprint and their use of natural resources – Global Design News