Beyond Accessibility™

The revolutionary design approach to the build environment that goes beyond traditional accessibility to deliver true inclusion.

See the 7 Senses & QUT Design Lab Celebration

7 Senses / 7 Years / 7 Speakers share with us in 7 minutes each their journey and highlights of 7 Senses.

7 Senses Masterclass

Learn the 7 Senses Framework™ and become an accredited 7 Senses Designer at one of our Masterclasses.

7 Senses Community

Get access to the 7 Senses Community and join any of our forums and/or regular webinars with guest speakers.

Sensory Consulting

Request an Audit, Community Consultation, Key Note Presentation or Workshop (7 people minimum).

7 Senses

Fully curated E-Commerce store with a vast range of Beyond Accessibility™ products from around Australia and the globe.

Why 7 Senses?

7 Senses is a revolutionary Design Framework that ensures inclusion for all ages and abilities. We have to go beyond accessibility to create inclusive places for all as sensory impairments, mental health etc. are on the rise. The 7 Senses Design Framework not only ensures people with impairments enjoy the build environment more it benefits all.

By 2030, we can expect that at least one-in-four Australian will live with a disability that restricts or impairs their ability to participate in daily activities, education or employment. Current built environment design requires ‘accessibility’, ensuring that the 2-3% of the population using mobility aids have equal access. But little is done to enhance the sensory experience for those with disability, especially neurological disorders such as autism, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy and a range of mental health illnesses.

We need to design environments that are inclusive beyond accessible.

We believe that the 7 Senses approach is a simple tool to make this happen and champion the idea of the 7 Senses through education and raising awareness in the professional world but also making information available to everyone.

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7 Senses aims to create healthier and happier neighbourhoods and communities that include people of all abilities and wellness, and cultivate activity and play.

We believe that the 7 Senses approach is a simple tool to make this happen and champion the idea of the 7 Senses by educating built environment professionals, community leaders, and residents on the benefits of creating environments that engage all 7 human senses.

In May 2013, Tobias Volbert and Linda Cupitt collaborated to hold a workshop for design professionals on the topic of ‘Beyond Accessibility – Creating the City of 7 Senses’. The workshop challenged participants to consider the sensory engagement of the Brisbane central business district and use a 7 Senses framework to brainstorm how the CBD could be.

In 16 November 2013 the team held the inaugural 7 Senses Street Day calling on residents around Australia to rethink a better street to call home.

The response was overwhelming.  Not only were there fantastic activities held around Australia, but the 7 Senses resonated with parents, built environment professionals and disability advocacy organisations alike.

See how you can go Beyond Accessibility™

We provide a broad range of products and services across all built environment sectors and roles. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you.

Design Professionals

Design projects that are Beyond Accessible™, using the 7 Senses Framework™ and getting certified through our Masterclasses.

Parents & Communities

Make your homes & communities more engaging, accessible and inclusive by leveraging the 7 Senses Community.

Projects Builders & Developers

Be the Builder or Developer with the edge. The 7 Senses Framework will help you to create a niche and will attract many families that look for a community that cares. Be a thought leader.

Councils & Organisations

Be the first, leave a legacy and show the commitment of your council to be a region for ALL. Be inclusive,  innovative and go Beyond Accessibility™.

What are the 7 Senses?


Sight or vision is the capability of the eyes to focus and detect images of visible light and generate electrical nerve impulses for varying colors, hues, and brightness.  Visual perception is how the brain processes these impulses – recognising, differentiating and interpreting visual stimuli through comparison with experiences made earlier in life.


Smell or olfaction is our ability to detect scent – chemical, odour molecules in the air.  Our olfactory system begins in our nose which has hundreds of olfactory receptors.  Odour molecules possess a variety of features and, thus, excite specific receptors more or less strongly.  This combination of excitement is interpreted by the brain to perceive the ‘smell’.

How olfactory information is coded in the brain to allow for proper perception is still being researched and the process is not completely understood, however, what is known is that the chemical nature of the odorant is particularly important, as there may be a chemotopic map in the brain.


Taste, or gustation, refers to the capability to detect the taste of substances such as food, certain minerals, and poisons, etc. The sense of taste is often confused with the “sense” of flavour, which is a combination of taste and smell perception.

Humans receive tastes through sensory organs called taste buds concentrated on the upper surface of the tongue. There are five basic tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami.


Hearing, or audition, is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations, changes in the pressure of the surrounding medium through time, through an organ such as the ear.   As with sight, auditory processing relies on how the brain interprets, recognises and differentiates  sound stimuli.


Touch, or somatosensory, is a perception resulting from activation of neural receptors, generally in the skin including hair follicles and a variety of pressure receptors respond to variations in pressure (firm, brushing, sustained, etc.).

The somatosensory system is a diverse sensory system that is spread through all major parts of our body. At its simplest, the system works when activity in a sensory receptor is triggered by a specific stimulus (such as heat); this signal eventually passes to an area in the brain uniquely attributed to that area on the body and this allows the processed stimulus to be felt at the correct location.


The vestibular system explains the perception of our body in relation to gravity, movement and balance. The vestibular system measures acceleration, g-force, body movements and head position.  Examples of the vestibular system in practice include knowing that you are moving when you are in an elevator, knowing whether you are lying down or sat up, and being able to walk along a balance beam.


Proprioception is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.  This sense is very important as it lets us know exactly where our body parts are, how we are positioned in space and to plan our movements.  Examples of our proprioception in practice include being able to clap our hands together with our eyes closed, write with a pencil and apply with correct pressure, and navigate through a narrow space.

7 Senses Day

Bringing the common sense back to our community.

The 7 Senses Day is an annual event that transforms spaces into fun temporary community places that engage our 7 senses and improve our daily environment.

The Day also brings much needed attention to the issues of isolation and restriction experienced by many people in our community, and showcases the many small, cost effective interventions could be implemented to overcome these barriers for participation.

The 7 Senses

Joining like-minded people together in the quest for better accessibility.