Designing a Meaningful Experience

As memory plays a crucial role in the perception of our experiences and environment, this project applies empathy to connect with the needs of the client and build a home that is more than a house. This New York apartment design  is retreat from urban chaos, created through the application of subtle sensorial stimulus to trigger positive memories and associations of tranquility and relaxation. 



This concept came to life after conducting extensive research into the life and needs of the intended inhabitant, his personal functional requirements, lifestyle and psychological needs. The inspirational image was then chosen to reflect the results of the research and act as a sounding board for the visceral cues leading to the desired emotional response.


A personalized environment that immerses the client in colors, patterns and textures that provoke specific emotional responses in order create a personal sanctuary away from the external city commotion. The home becomes a three-dimensional, physical experience that fosters a sense of lightness and tranquility to promote user contentment and well-being.


Customizing Loft Living

Loft living presents a challenge of dividing a large open space into a home that meets the needs of residential life. It is taking something industrial and often cold and creating an environment that reflects the personal style of the inhabitant. The goal for the Tree House Loft was to design a structure for the home of a young, single creative professional that would divide her space into public and private areas to accommodate her need to cook, sleep, relax, work and entertain all in one open loft.


Research the client. Establish Inspiration. Outline functional needs through zoning. Integrate form and function according to the look and feel of the inspirational imagery. As a child she dreamed of living in a tree house, so that became the primary inspiration for the design, informing shapes, layout, colors, materials and furniture.


Loft furniture structure that meets all requested functions, appeals to the client’s affinity to nature and dream of living in a tree house. Coherent design for a unified environment, also provides variety through changes in light, movement, air circulation, intimate and open spaces, and height to meet the psychological needs of the inhabitant.


Conseptualizing for the Senses

This materials study dives into the properties of cedar wood to explore human connections with architectural environments. The initial results were applied to a display in order further discover how design can provide stimulus for the human senses of touch, sound, vision and smell and the psychological ramifications of that stimulation. 


Provides visual appeal through the use of wood columns with light filtering from above to resemble a clearing of cedar trees. Raw wood is left untreated to release its natural smell. Wood chips on the floor create a soft feeling underfoot and a gentle crunching sound reminiscent of a forest floor. 

Next Steps:

Additional investigation into how these natural properties can inform environmental design with further research into user response to the sanctuary. Exploration into how end users would apply sensorial stimulation to enhance their own wellness environments (hospitals, meditation centers, etc).


"In response to environment, people expect all of their senses to be moderately stimulated at all times. This is what happens in nature...Variety is indeed the spice–and needed substance–of life." Faber Birren


"The details are not the details. They make the design." –Charles Eames