The spectrum of mental health is broad, as are the causes and variables within one’s environment. 



Art.Araxia, through the use of elements of nature and technology, aims to create a series of public multi-sensory installations embedded with healing methodologies that apply light (color), sound and scent vibrations to promote wellness. Due to its high number of covid cases, Barcelona, Spain will be used as the case study in this thesis.

Statistics show a steady rise in mental health cases worldwide with Spain being close to the worrisome end of the spectrum.

In recent years, the interplay between mental health and our environment has significantly grown and the COVID-19 with its unforeseeable and unforeseen socio-economic implications, there is a more urgent need to create and implement win-win solutions. Can architecture by the aid of nature and technology create environments that heal. In order to find applicable and specific effects of architecture on mental health, this thesis will focus on the psychological impact of the pandemic.

Biophilic Design

Immersion in Nature

By weaving the patterns and forms of nature into the built environment, we can strengthen the human-nature connection.



Biophilic design is a multi-sensory, human-centered approach based on three core principles that look at the bigger picture:

Psychological and physiological benefits of viewing nature environments have been extensively studied for some time. Research shows that being around nature has positive outcomes such as stress reduction, improved mood, enhanced attention, and cognitive functioning among other salubrious effects.


Cities as Scenescapes

Planned or not, cities are inevitably scenescapes; landscapes of sound, sight, smell and physical comfort. Exposed to unpleasant temperatures, sounds, visual discomfort, we experience our environment daily, leaving a negative impact on our health. Therefore Urban development requires designing models that can sustain our sensory living. This was the inspiration for the Barcelona superblocks.

In order to achieve restorative healing, one has to experience the complete journey. 

20 minutes.

Requires 20 sessions

Average of 3 times per week.

Installation Concept


This intervention is aimed at the residents and workers of the Poblenou Neighbourhood
Located between the Glories Square and the South-East part of the Av, Diagonal, the Poblenou Neighbourhood has always been an industrial neighbourhood. It has a particular and complex urban construction, cut off from Barcelona due to the railways. 
Transforming the abandoned industrial zones or existing public zones and green areas into spaces of high urban and environmental quality and with new activities linked to knowledge and innovation is what the Art.Araxia intervention aims to achieve therefore renewing the historical, social and economic vitality of Poblenou.


To study the site circulation, a movement analysis was carried out using the PedSim Pro plugin. By replicating the existing conditions of the site, I was able to mirror particular scenarios for certain times of the day hence generating the points of interaction on site and using them as the base for intervention.

Influencing Factors

  • Existing Nature elements; trees
  • Flower beds and pots
  • Playgrounds
  • Work Districts
  • Car Parks 
  • Wind Direction
  • Sun Path
Water is a key element when it comes to taking care of our mental health. In order to replicate the feeling of water, numerous dynamic structures were generated to create the blue zones.

For the prototype, water simulations such as flowing rivers and waterfalls were integrated into the structure to trigger the feelings that come with this activities.

LED Effect

LED Effect + Fog Diffuser


The relationship between breathing and smelling establishes olfactory processing as a constant in the human experience, therefore an olfactory landscape influences the built and natural environments we occupy. The fusion of these realms can be defined as a Scentscape.


Using LED Strips to create meditation spaces along with a fog diffuser and essential oils.


Lavender + Blinking lights

Test using heart rate and skin conductivity monitors and results suggest it can produce a substantial change in stress levels as indicated by pulse rate, respiration levels and mood response feedback




Using LED Strips to recreate forest scene with natural patterns and organic forms.



‘While technology can enable isolation, it also carries the immense potential to reach across the immen

se potential to reach across the physical boundaries to bring people together’



Performative Landscape

A Sensorial Labyrinth

Viewer faces various situations of altered perceptions caused by
Pulsating Lights
Corporeal Sensations
Hallucinatory Environments





Physical Prototype

with Projection Mapping




Art.Araxia is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed in the Master of Advanced Architecture 2021/22 by: Students: Igwehi Pamela Inegbedion and Faculty: Manuel Gausa & Johan Jasser Salas