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About project

The purpose of the SPEDUCULT-project is to strengthen and expand the SPEDUTEC-network, built in a previous NPHZ project, with the focus on added cultural value, on the one hand, and by further linking it with national and international level multisensory special interest societies and networks, on the other hand. ‘Strengthening’ here refers to increasing our knowledge and understanding of various sociocultural aspects of multisensory environments’ (MSEs) framework in the culturally versatile Nordic and Baltic countries.

Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) can briefly be defined as designated and controlled space designed to alert or calm the person’s senses in order to enhance several purposes like playing, learning, health promotion, rehabilitation and over all increasing quality of life, feeling better and happier. Multisensory framework is part of methodological and practical studies within special education and social studies in higher education. In order to develop forward studies and practices of MSEs’ framework in Nordic and Baltic countries, more researched and documented knowledge, shared experiences, and cross-sectoral networking is needed. Our Nordic-Baltic project co-operation between five countries and nine partner institutions, within an activity framework of five seminars, workshops and survey, shall address these areas.

Activities comprise of the survey of the current MSE’s culture (education, methods & practises), exchange of experiences, and dissemination of the results. The project is also looking for best practices of applied MSEs to provide new practical ideas to design arousal and calming sensory activity. Outcomes of project will be presented at national and international conferences and as a multimedia report.

The SPEDUCULT aims are

  • To survey current MSE-cultures on a Nordic-Baltic Level, in order to improve quality and innovation of studies and practices of MSE in systems for lifelong learning: in higher education, in adult education and in special education at primary school in the participating countries.
  • To provide new practical ideas for designing sensory activity of arousal and calming with best practices of applied MSEs.
  • To strengthen and expand the SPEDUTEC Nordplus Horizontal network with new partners, institutions and organisations.
  • To disseminate up-to-date MSE knowledge and practices for a broader audience interested in MSEs in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Partner institutions

  • Häme University of Applied Sciences, Education and Research Center for Wellbeing (FI-HAMK) (coordinator)
  • The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (NO-AHO)
  • Lund University, Certec (SE-LU)
  • City of Helsinki, Department of Social and Health Care, Services for the Disabled (FI-Services for the Disabled)
  • Käo Basic School (EE-Käo Basic School)
  • Via University College (DK-VIA)
  • ISNA-mse International snoezelen association-multi sensory environment (DK-ISNA-mse)
  • City of Gothenburg, Eldorado (SE-Eldorado)
  • NTNU- Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NO-NTNU)





The Kick-off meeting, was held in Oslo, Norway 21.-23.11.2017. The program was designed to provide all participants understanding of the Norwegian way to understand multisensory environments (MSEs) and the theoretical background of that in connection with the Nature. Both AHO and NTNU offer special knowledge and previous experience of designing the pedagogical and co-creative use of MSE with a lifelong perspective, from children with disabilities, to elderly people with dementia. Both AHO and NTNU values are to contribute to creating a better world, not only through knowledge, but also through its application, design, and motivational use of cultural objects, with focus on the link between technology and the human individual as user, consumer and co-creator of the everyday culture he or she lives in. Technology can be anything from digital-networked to physical materials, music, textile, or combinations, such as smart textiles or interactive computer based sound-toys and networked furnitures in home environments with social media capabilities. The on-site visiting places gave us practical understanding how everything works with real clients from lifelong perspective. We also learned, how deeply sensory arousal and calming down is interwined within nature in Nordic Countries.

The survey of current MSE cultures in Nordic-Baltic countries was done together with partners from each participant country. In looking for the current MSEs cultures in Nordic-Baltic countries, the survey’s main focuses areas were defined as

1) MSE Therapy, Learning & Recreational settings,

2) MSE education of therapists, teachers, designers & other practitioners,

3) Design of MSE services, and

4) MSE collaboration & Network.

The planning was done at monthly online meetings and at Norwegian and Finnish face-to-face meetings.

The survey questionnaire was originally done in English and then translated to Danish, to Estonian, to Finnish, to Norwegian and to Swedish. It was implemented by using the Webropol online survey and analysis tool. In collecting the MSEs information, collaboration was done with the national multisensory societies and networks (Norske Sanserom, Svenska snoezelen nätverket, Snoezelnätverket Södra sverge, and Suomen multisenso/Papunet). The survey was introduced as a voluntary action to members of the networks and to key persons of these societies and networks. The survey link was sent to the key person of the society or network, who spread the link to members the way it was proper in a network, f.ex. on webpages.

Analysis of the survey results started at the 4th meeting in Estonia Nov 2018. The final results dissemination for the SPEDUCULT partners took place at the 5th meeting in Denmark June 2019.

The second meeting was held in Helsinki-Hämeenlinna area in Finland 6.-8.6.2018. Here is the Helsinki-Hämeenlinna meeting program. The program was designed to provide all participants understanding of the Finnish way to apply multisensory perspective and effects to various learning environments, for example to museums, to calm down or to enrich the environment. In this meaning two site visits were done, first to Theater Museum and another to The Finnish Nature Center. The visit and workshop at the Theater Museum taught how to use low and high tech, clothes, masks and facial expressions to create more efficient learning experiences. The workshop result product was documented as a video to Speducult-project’s facebook: . The Nature Center provided various aspects of natures’s calming environments, processes and effects. At the second day, there was an open half day’s Miniseminar  for the broader audience. The Miniseminar, which was streamed online and the documented miniseminar is to seen in youtube now at address. There are also smaller video documentations from the workshop found at the Speducult’s facebook pages.

The third face-to-face seminar and workshop of MSE was held in, Tallinn, Estonia/Baltic, 14.-16.11.2018. Here’s the Tallinn meeting program. The program was designed to provide all participants understanding of the Baltic way to understand multisensory environments (MSEs), activities and environmental aspects that calm down over stimulation or activate sensorial input. We also found out the Baltic connection with the Nature, especially bok has important role in experiencing and establishing multisensory stimulation. From a point of a view of art as a source of multisensory experience, we learned easy hands on artistic activities that are usable with all aged people with sensorial deficiencies.


The fourth face-to-face seminar and workshop of MSE was held in Scanderborg and Via University of Applied Sciences, Denmark 12.-13.6.2019 with some extra program 14.-15.6.2019. The program was planned and organised by Danish partners from Via University College and ISNA DK. Here is the Danish program. First day was build around National Solund Music Festival, in which we had a small Speducult music project (Speducult participants from Denmark and Finland). We visited Hertha village, where we learned more about how individually chosen daily activities and farming provide source for multisensory experiences and environments.

The fifth and closing face-to-face seminar and workshop of MSE was held in Eldorado, Gothenborg, Sweden 20.-22.11.2019. The program was planned by Eldorado and Lund University partners. Here is the Swedish program. In the beginning of the first day we looked back all previous f-to-f meetings and experienced highlights during the project. Later we learned how Eldorado Music Café provides multisensory environment and experiences within playing, singing and dancing activities. The second day we had a workshop around new Eldorado MSEs. We learned how the best practices learned in previous f-to-f meetings had been applied into the new Eldorado MSEs. In workshops, Speducult partners provided also ideas how to improve the new Eldorado environment and activities even further on.

Results and products

Abstract of results

The design and use of multisensory environments (MSEs) possess great application potential for variety of purposes that effects on learning and behavior. Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) can briefly be defined as designated and controlled space designed to alert or calm the person’s senses in order to enhance several purposes like playing, learning, health promotion, rehabilitation and over all increasing quality of life, feeling better and happier. The project’s main purpose was to carry out survey to find out current understanding and cultural landscape of MSE in Nordic and Baltic countries.

We reached 122 organisations. Results showed the formal education of the MSEs staff was pedagogics (63%) or occupational therapists (50%). Staff was trained by other practioners (63%) or self-taught by courses (51%). 46% had official MSE education. In all countries MSEs were used for recreational & resting purposes (97%), to develop interaction and communication (92%) and used for Therapy, Learning & Recreational settings (83%). MSEs were rarely designed by professional designers (15%). Only one third (31,52%) of respondents had membership of national MSE society or a network.

In conclusion, there is need for official MSE training in all countries. Currently there is none at higher education level, although neuropsychological evidence shows the effectiveness of systematic use of MSEs for individual neurological system, self-regulation of impulses and for executive functions. In addition to MSEs therapeutic use, we need more professional designers who understand the principles of creating MSEs. Networking possibilities for MSEs professionals needs to improve.

The Speducult project has strengthened and expanded the previously created SPEDUTEC network by further linking it with national and international level multisensory special interest groups, societies and networks. The Nordic-Baltic project was taken place between five countries and nine partner institutions, within an activity framework of five seminars, workshops and survey between 2017-19.

Best-practices for improving MSEs

Best practices of applying art, culture, nature activities and applied tech in to the MSEs will provide new knowledge of possibilities where and how to design arousal and calming sensory activities with artists. Needs for sharing knowledge and practical tips and best-practices are highly appreciated. Especially for project participants working directly with end-users, this provided new ideas, new connections and new perspectives to design MSE environments collaboratively.

Re-created MSEs. Already during the Speducult project, MSEs have been developed further on based on learned and shared experiences from other countries. During the project, two new MSEs were re-created – Eldorado in Gothenborg, Sweden and Sofianlehto Toimintakeskus in Helsinki, Finland.

Exchange of expertise outside of project activities has already taken place among project partners. For example, music therapist Mikko Romppanen from HAMK University of Applied Sciences gave a Music and Soundscapes workshop originally at f-to-f meeting in Helsinki, later the whole Käo Basic School staff in Tallinn were trained with it.

Benchmarking between partners. Based on survey results, there seems to be urgent need for creating stronger networks and collaboration arenas both at national level and in between Nordic-Baltic countries. Connections developed during the project were valuable for wider use. For example the Käo Basic School staff visited Sofialehto Activity Center, a Helsinki Multisensory Resource Center in Helsinki to learn more about new kind of flexible tech solution applied within MSE.

Tips for multisensory activities. Videos from Theater Museum and Miniseminar from the Finnish f-to-f meeting, and Music workshop video from Romppanen (2020), as well as articles from Cappelen (2019) reveal the connection between physical and artistic activities. This connection can also be found from various pins at Special Education and Culture Pinterest Table. The Nordic-Baltic SPEDUTEC network and cross-sectoral collaboration around MSEs has stronger bases with up-to-date knowledge and future oriented technological and pedagogical innovations.

Expanded Speducult network

According to the 3rd objective, strengthening and expanding the network has taken successfully place on 1) national level, 2) Nordic-Baltic level, and 3) international level. On national level, collaboration and networking was done widely in all Nordic countries: 1) in creating transnational face-to-face meeting program – visits and workshops; 2) collaboration within survey process, f.ex. reaching MSE actors around the country, sharing information and disseminating survey results.

Speducult partners from Norway have developed a deeper and wider relation with the Norwegian network for Multi Sensory Environment, Norske Sanserom (

In Sweden, Speducult partners from Lund University and from Eldorado have deepened their mutual collaboration by organising common seminar. They have also collaborated widely with national level networks Svenska snoezelen nätverket and Snoezelnätverket Södra sverge.

In Denmark, Speducult partners collaborated with national networks, ISNA Denmark and also with International Snoezelen Association Multisensory Environment (ISNA).

In Finland, Speducult project was introduced to Suomen multisenso/Papunet network. The project was closely collaborating with the network. Network organisations were participating the Speducult survey. In the survey, a wish for a Facebook group for Finnish Multisenso network was expressed. People needed to share their thoughts. Now the wish has been fulfilled.

In Baltic countries there were no national or transnational networks before the Speducult project. In result of the project, Käo Basic School partner in Estonia has already started creating a MSE network. At Estonia workshop, there were two presentation from Liethuania. Also some of the previous connections have become stronger while conducting the survey. Survey results showed that organisations were very interested in sharing what they know and networking. The collaboration has so far been between similar institutions, but it has included both staff and pupils. The construction of a national level MSE network has begun.

Speducult articles, videos and other material



***Unfortunately the Multisensory publication is delayed due to the unexpected COVID19 chaos. We are doing our best to get results published as soon as possible.***

 Multisensory Environment (MSE) Article Collection, HAMK Unlimited (The publishing process is ongoing):

  • Lipso, K., Langemets, J., Pill, K., Pihol, L., Täht, B. & Laht, M. 2020. Reflections of partnership in Nordplus Horizontal Nordic-Baltic Speducult project (2017-2019) – an overview by Käo Basic School, Estonia.
  • Lipso, K. & Cnobs Rasmussen, S. 2020. The educational landscape of MSE. Tendencies in the nordic – baltic countries.
  • Romppanen, M. 2021. Music and Soundscapes workshop.
  • Saarela, M. 2021. Reflections from Speducult project.
  • Saarela, M. 2021. Summing up the current landscape of MSEs and services in Nordic-Baltic area.
  • Salonen, J. 2021. Speducult benefits and developments.



Articles and videos at various publications

  • Cappelen B., Andersson, A. (2018) Cultural Artefacts with Virtual Capabilities Enhance Self-Expression Possibilities for Children with Special Needs. UDHEIT 2018– Transforming our World Through Design, Diversity and Education. IOS Press, ISBN 978-1-61499-922-5. s. 634-642.
  • Cappelen B., Andersson, A. (2018) The Health Promoting Potential of Interactive Art. ICCHP 2018 –Computers Helping People with Special Needs. Springer Nature 2018. ISBN 978-3-319-94276-6. s. 479-484
  • Cappelen B., Andersson, A. (2018) Vitalising Health Promoting Technology for Elderly in DesignEducation. E&PDE 2018 – 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education. Proceedings, Diversity or Conformity, The Design Society 2018. ISBN 9781912254026. s. 558-565.
  • Eklund, S., Olsson, M. & Rådenmark, C. 2020.  Eldorado´s inspiration from the SPEDUCULT project video
  • Pickard, B. & Romppanen, M. 2019. Within and across boundaries: Music therapists teaching acrossdisciplines in higher education. Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy. Advance Online Publication. ISSN: 2459-3338 |
  • Rydeman B., Rådenmark, C. & Olsson, M. 2020. Multisensoriska sinnesrum i Sverige: – resultatet av en enkätundersökning inom ramen för det nordisk-baltiska Speducult-projektet” (Multisensory sensory rooms in Sweden – results from a survey within the Nordic-Baltic Speducult project). Lund University.
  • Wirzen, D., Eklund, S., Romppanen, M. & Cnobs Rasmussen, S. 2019. Music Unites Europe (MUE). Iforlængelse af denne artikel bør en af følgende 2 links benyttes til hhv. en kort og en lang version af følgefilmen der er optaget vedr. årets seminar Music Unites Europe 2019.
    1. Kort version video of MUE
    2. Lang version video of MUE (8 min-)



  • Cappelen, B. Vitalising Welfare Technology (2017) – a new paradigm in health technology for The Norwegian Directorate of eHealth, Oslo, Norway Presentation:Cappelen-VitalizingWelfare-Ehin.pdf
  • Cappelen, B. & Anderson, A. 2019. Nordic MSE conference/Nordisk konferanse i Sansestimulering, Sansenes betydning for livsmestring og utvikling, 26-27 March 2019, Oslo, Publication: Abstract, Presentation. Presentation: CappelenAnderson-NordiskSans20
  • Olssen, M. & Rådenmark, C. 2019. ”Enkät om sinnesstimulerande miljöer (MSE Multisensory Environment ) i de nordiska och baltiska länderna.” Hållbar Stad – Öppen för världen. Lund University.
  • Cappelen, B. & Anderson, A. 2018. Health Promoting Interactive Art in Schools, “Polly World“ on tour (2018) at 12 Schools, approx. 200 children, for special education in the “Cultural Schoolbag”, Arts Council Norway. Exhibition.



  • The Miniseminar at Finnish f-to-f meeting, which was streamed online.  
  • Cappelen, B. 2019. Sensory Stimulation and Movement (Fall, 2019). Part of Master Course in Physiotherapy at Oslo Metropolitan University (Oslo Met), Norway.
  • Cappelen, B. 2019. Health Promoting Technology– Invite and Inspire to Dance (Fall, 2019). Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Norway.
  • Project Poster-collection: AHO-InviteAndInspiretoDance-2019.pdf
  • Video-folder:/Video-InviteAndInspiretoDance-2019/
  • Cappelen, B. 2019. Sensorial Interaction and E-textile (Fall, 2019). Part of Master Course in Tangible Interaction Design at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Gjøvik , Norway.
  • Tangible Interaction Design for Health Promotion (Fall, 2019). Master course in Design in collaboration with Gjøvik municipality, National Centre for Care Research, Dep. of Design, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Gjøvik.
  • Physical and tactile interaction (Fall, 2019). Bachelor course in Design in collaboration with Statped Norway and Åkershagan MSE, Dep. of Design, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Gjøvik, Norway.
  • Light and Life Quality in Care homes (Spring, 2019). Inclusive Design course 1. Year Industrial Design, Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Norway.
  • Health Promoting Technology – Inspire to Move (Fall, 2018). Master Course in Tangible Interaction at Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) with Fredrik Olofsson in collaboration with Physiotherapy at Oslo Met, Paulus Care Home, Norway.
    • Project Poster-collection: AHO-InspiretoMove-2018.pdf
    • Video-folder:/Video-InspiretoDance-2018/


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