Design and sensory quality. Materials and performance for communication in museum spaces


  • Teresa Villani ‘Sapienza’ University of Roma



environment communication, sensory materials, materials selection criteria, information structuring, museums


Design can provide the means to guide perceptive processes, by trying to act on the environment’s ability to provide intelligible and meaningful information. Making a space communicative by enhancing its usability entails anticipating perceptive processes and pursuing better quality for human-environment interaction. A possible solution could be using sensory materials able to provide ‘tangible’ features and new functions, thanks to technologies acting in a controlled way on the micro and nano-levels. In this regard, the results of two studies funded by Sapienza University of Rome are presented; they relate to the structuring of a database of materials that can act at the information level on the shared spaces of large Museum Hubs, and its experimentation for the Roman museums’ network Musei in Comune, supported by the Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali of Rome.


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Author Biography

Teresa Villani, ‘Sapienza’ University of Roma

Architect and PhD, she is an Associate Professor in Architecture Technology at the PDTA Department. Her field concerns tools for planning and designing renovations; in building intended for community services she has conducted studies on technological innovation and the application of new materials, products and components for the design of complex public buildings, with insights on the requirements for usability and wayfinding, according to the principles of Inclusive Design.


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Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, by Pentagram Design, 2006 (credit: AGATHÓN 2020




How to Cite

Villani, T. (2020) “Design and sensory quality. Materials and performance for communication in museum spaces”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 7(online), pp. 164–173. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/7172020.



Architecture | Research & Experimentation