Universal Synaesthesia: the integration of the senses for design | University of Oxford

Universal Synaesthesia: the integration of the senses for design

Prof. Charles Spence, Prof. Barry Smith, Dr. Ophelia Deroy
Event date
Event time
Pembroke College
St Aldate's
Venue details

The Pichette Auditorium

Event type
Event cost
£5 (£3 for Pembroke College Students)
Disabled access?
Booking required

Every one of us matches the senses in surprising ways. Most people think, for example, that lemons are fast, not slow, that carbonation and bitterness are angular, while sweetness is most definitely round. Research has shown that people will associate sour tastes with higher pitched sounds, bitterness with lower pitch.

Understanding how the brain is constantly integrating information from different senses to create the perception of reality can inspire real world design across disciplines. Just think of why do we like art, or how music can influence the way you experience a glass of wine, or the way you can communicate information about taste/flavour by using visual features, or how multisensory designed atmospheres can influence human behaviour. This universal synaesthesia opens up a world of exciting possibilities in the field of experience design.

The 21st of May 2014, the Experiential Society, a platform of discussion and research on multisensory experience design, will hold its first ever event at Oxford, which will include short talks by leaders in multisensory research on their perspective on ‘Universal Synaesthesia’. Professor Spence, head of Oxford’s Crossmodal Research Lab, as well as Professor Smith and Dr Deroy from London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses will be the special guests of the evening.

The event will be teeming with experiences, in which our guests will be able to have a first-hand taste of the way we can transform human experience by designing for the senses. Places are limited, so email experiential.society@gmail.com to book yours.