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Avoiding Sensory Overload in Design

Have you ever been fine and then suddenly felt like everything was just too much? There’s too much talking, too much noise, the music is too loud, the lighting is off.

Sensory overload happens when one or more of the body’s five senses become overwhelmed. It can happen, for example, in a crowded waiting room, as a side effect of Jet Lag, or during an emotional reaction. In essence, the brain receives too much information to be able to process it properly.

Sensory overload is often an unintentional by product of design and prevention is key. Getting ahead of it or preventing it from building up in the first place is so much easier than trying to play catch up when the scales have already been tipped into overload. It’s imperative for designers and architects to analyze the congruence or complementary aspect between individual sensory offerings and the wider sensory space they form part of.

Being overtired, stressed, or even hungry can make guests more susceptible for sensory overload. These factors are especially important to consider when it comes to kids. Those with autism, anxiety, PTSD, and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) are more prone to experiencing sensory overload. Sensory overload can also occur during migraines.

Once it begins, those suffering from it feel as though their senses are heightened. They are hyperaware of every sound, sight, smell, touch, and feeling. Sensory overload can often look like a panic attack. It is even more unpleasant for the person experiencing it as it is for those around them.

mycoocoon color therapy focuses on helping relief, calm and balance the brain and body. We define sensory harmony as a set of pleasant sensations caused by environmental stimuli, that can lead to a feeling of wellbeing. We use color's simplicity, cleanliness, versatility, and emotional connection to self, as the technology that drives our transformative experiences.


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