retouch by anja humljan
retouch | return to senses
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Public plays
Rethinking processes and governance
Image: return to senses by anja humljan, photo: marcus lim
retouch™ any neighbourhood for more health & less stress.

Contemporary environments aim to look stunning, technologically/digitally advanced, and people/environment-friendly, but still often fail short of actually nurturing our health & wellbeing. They either over- or under-stimulate our senses causing us stress.

Did you know that stress is the biggest cause of exhaustion, depression, and illness?

More than 70% of our health depends on our environment and behaviour. Paying attention to behavioural habits (e.g. eating well, being physically active, training the mind) is good, but not good enough to actually nurture our heath & wellbeing.

We also need to consider the influences wrought by neighbourhoods we live in and frequent. We are all sensory beings, but we all have different ways of reacting to sensory experience. What works for some doesn’t work for others.

retouch™ helps people become aware of these differences through interactive sensory activities. It aims to empower communities to make healthier choices and smaller spatial adaptations. It is as easy as be, sense and retouch.

However, with the sensory diversity in mind our task as architects is to figure out how to design and adapt neighbourhoods on a larger scale so that they bring more health & less stress into our communities.


“As an architect I know that sensing influences our spatial experience, but I never really felt it. Until now!”


1) Scan QR code in the word “play” to receive instructions
2) Perform activity in any neighbourhood
3) Observe bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions
4) Reflect on the experience
5) Share photos/videos and tag #retouch_oslo_triennale


#1 Squeeze your body into the gaps in between neighbourhood features. Take a moment to acknowledge how it feels. Invite friends and family, do it together.

#2 Search for a range of materials in the neighbourhood that you can step on safely (e.g. grass, gravel, wood, bricks). What sounds do they make?

#3 Put earplugs in. Keep them in while walking through the neighbourhood. Did your other senses become sharper? Did you lose your sense of orientation or balance at any moment?

retouch by anja humljan

I am a human architect restoring connections with oneself and the environment. My priority is to help people reduce stress wrought by everyday living in the urban environments. Living in major cities across Europe, Southeast Asia, UK, Australia, and the USA I experienced the situation first-hand.

I was academic fellow at the National University of Singapore School of Medicine and collaborated with institutions like Singapore Architecture Festival, Copenhagen Architecture Festival and The National University Health System. I described my work in the book The Urban Yoga.

Cross-disciplinary practice

return to senses by anja humljan: madrid, photo: emilio p. doiztua

return to senses by anja humljan: ljubjana, photo: primož lukežič

return to senses by anja humljan: singapore, photo: marcus lim