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Dutch Design Week 2022

Spaces for Well Being

Gasfabriek 3a

daily from 11-18h

Our mission is to develop research-based spaces that contribute to individual health and happiness. Materials, installations, and various spatial elements that enrich your sensory experience with the intention to positively influence your mood

Why we do what we do: 

We believe people should feel their best at all times, in mind and body. To have the energy and capacity to do what they want to do, to be able to experience what they feel, no matter where they are. Yet every day we have to cope with the surroundings we’re in. Without being aware of it, our senses take in all (environmental) information. Using up a part of our energy supplies and diminishing our mental capacity to be used on the things we want to do or need to do. 

Our surroundings have a way bigger impact on us than we are consciously aware off. But most spaces aren’t consciously matched with the desired state of mind of its users. For example, many workspaces have a lot of noise and visual distractions, while you would like to have a moment of full focus. Or you need a moment to relax and clear your head, but you are in a space that’s high on stimuli. Naturally, the physical environment is not the only thing influencing us. Our task demands or social interactions also play a part. But we believe the physical surroundings should fulfill our mental needs as a prerequisite to feel good, to be able to work well and to engage in social interactions.

How do we do this?

Working from a multi sensorial perspective we create materials, installations and entire spaces that enhance a specific mood or state of mind. Spaces that help us to focus, in which we are able to relax and calm down or feel energized again. Using evidence based theories like Biophilic Design, Attention Restoration and Environmental Enrichment as a base, we make the match between the type of experience needing to be stimulated, the senses that can be used and all spatial objects and finishings in the space itself. We develop new materials and installations and combine these with a consciously made selection of colours, textures, scents and sounds to create one harmonious mix of sensory stimuli. Creating the prerequisite that can function as a baseline to feel good in mind and body. 



Our spaces influence our body and mind, why not make them of added value?

How can we help you?

With our spaces we simply want people to feel better. To be able to get the most out of what we are doing or experiencing, without wasting energy processing spatial information that does not match our needs. 

Optimized work environments

For example, we want employees to be able to focus on their work effortlessly. To be triggered in a way that actually optimizes the brain capacity instead of draining it by distractions. We want employees to be able to connect better with colleagues. To be able to collaborate better, because the state of mind is unconsciously set in being open toward others. We want employees to be able to regenerate. To regain energy. By either taking a step back and slowing down or by being activated and speeding up. Giving them a space to breath and cocoon or to literally blow off some steam. 

Optimized health care spaces

Same goes for both clients/ patients and staff in health care facilities. We want to help them transition into a calm and open state of mind. To get them out of the experience of agitation and stress. Away from frustration and into a mood in which they are able to experience relaxation and joy. We want to relieve the feeling of pain and stress by optimizing the physical environment. 

Examples of the projects we have been working on / are working on now

  • Bio Mirror – Spaces for Well Being | impulsgelden Brabant 

  • Research project The Design of Spatial Well Being | GGzE

  • Contemplation Zone | Ministery of Finance

  • Restorative installation X-ordinary Phenomena | Conservatorium Hotel

  • Applying Surface of Sound into healthcare |Philadelphia Zorg



research spaces & human behaviour


design sensory spaces with bespoke materials


research the effects on moods & well being

How do we achieve this? 

We can help you, as an organization, to discover which state of mind needs to be stimulated in different spaces in your building(s). How the physical environment is currently influencing our state of mind. Which senses are being influenced and how? What kind of impact does this have on the people in this space on a behavioral and mental level. Next, we can help you redesdign the space into a place where function, state of mind and the physical environment are well balanced. 


Our way of working contains three fases:

  • Researching spaces and human behaviour: to learn which state if mind is needed and how the spaces are influencing the people currently. 

  • Designing sensory spaces with bespoke materials: to create the change that is needed. Designing from a sensory perspective.

  • Research the effects on moods & well being: to learn what the impact is for future developments.  


What do we do:

  • Sensorial workshop: A first step to learn and experience what senses can do with your state of mind and how you can apply them in a space. The sensorial workshop is an interactive session in which we involve the whole team to dive into your own specific question. 

  • Material design: To enhance specific moods we can design materials and multi-sensory installations to apply in a space. Based on behavioral research and the sensorial effect it needs to have, we’ll experiment with materials, tactility, scents and sounds creating something bespoke. 

  • Spatial design: to truly enhance a specific mood a space needs to be designed as a whole. All different elements (for example floor - and wall coverings and interior objects) are carefully brought together, creating a harmonious blend of colours, textures, shapes, scents and sounds, among others. The space can be a transition space, like an entrance, hallway or elevator, a room or any other space. Together we’ll run the project from the beginning until the end. 



Alissa van Asseldonk & Nienke Bongers

Studio for material & installation design


Psychologist of Senses & Spaces

Renske Bongers

Studio Kontou

Justine Kontou

Researcher &


Sensorial curator &

art director

Who are we? 

Spaces for Well Being is collective of designers, a psychologist of senses and spaces and a sensorial curator. We’re a collective of different disciplines all connected by the same theme: how can we use spaces and our senses to enhance well being? 

We believe that together we can achieve more. Because of our extensive experience in different disciplines we all have a different perspective. Taking up a different angle in a project. Which results in new insights and developments. 

What are the different backgrounds we have?

A+N is a material research and design studio, founded by Alissa van Asseldonk and Nienke Bongers. Working with both craftsmen and high-tech industry, they design innovative materials, objects and installations for (future) interior architecture, that trigger curiosity and interaction while speaking to the senses. They bring a design expertise in Environemental Enrichment since co-founding Enrichers in which they’ve been working with Prof. Jenny Morton, professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cambridge.  Within this current collaboration they will develop bespoke materials and installations for the various moods. Researching how to trigger the senses and how they can have an impact on well being. 

Psychologist of senses and spaces Renske Bongers is not only the researcher in the collective. She will always take the perspective of the enduser and their state of mind. Her main focus is on the application of the materials and installations into the spaces. How do they need to work on an individual level to really enhance a mood. What’s happening inside the mind and inside the body? How do the senses play a part? And how does a space need to function to be able to create this state of mind? These are the questions she will focus on.

Sensorial curator Justine Kontou is the person in the collective to create the entirety of the experience. She will make the concept into a whole. Looking into all the details of a space. By tailoring spatial experiences to the specific needs of users of a space, they can be brought into any desired state of mind. Central to her work is the holistic integration of mindful design, biophilic design, natural elements and art; all to stimulate the senses. 

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