In 2016, Fred Galstaun was relaxing on Scheveningen beach in the Netherlands when he began to wonder why he felt so good. As the sun beamed down and warmed his body, Fred started reflecting upon and fully immersing himself in his coastal surroundings – the sharp, salty ocean air, the soothing sound of crashing waves, and the feeling of the fresh breeze against his skin. This moment was a revelation for the then booking.com marketeer, who was “soul searching” at this point in his life, embarking on meditation retreats across the globe. “When chilling on the beach that day, I felt really good, really fast, and I realised that it was because I was stimulating all five of my senses at the same time. I was consciously recharging in nature,” says Fred. This revelation, grounded in the power of stimulating all five senses, was the inspiration for SENSIKS and the ground-breaking sensory-reality pods.
“With the help of neuroscientists and government-backed science groups in the Netherlands, we learnt a lot about how the brain works. We found that virtual reality can reset your state of mind by encouraging you to move into a relaxing flow state,” says Fred of his research into the multisensory pods, which are now also being used by the NHS in a brand-new medical innovation centre. SENSIKS also collaborated with the Ministry of Defence to create bespoke experiences to help treat PTSD.
In keeping with SENSIKS’ own future-facing ethos, each pod is made with the planet in mind. The interior is composed of boards made from natural waste materials including hay, sawdust and bamboo that are secured together using a chemical-free bio-based glue. What’s more, each pod is 3-D-printed, so they can be made anywhere in the world without the need for transportation, while their modular design allows single parts – from infrared heaters to fragrance ports – to be swapped in and out to reduce waste.
For the bright orange exclusive-to-Selfridges exterior pod design, we teamed up with the inflatables experts at Studio Soufflé. Once the SENSIKS experience is no longer available, these sculptural pieces will be used as changing rooms to give them a second life.