Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.


Crossing Over: The Art & Science of Multisensory Perception

4 July 2016 | 11am – 1pm

Kensington, Senior Common Room


This joint mini one-day symposium and exhibition between the Royal College of Art and University of Oxford will explore how our perception can be potentially used in a creative context. Three researchers from each institution will discuss the following keywords during this symposium.

KEYWORDS: synaesthesia, design provocation, sensory manipulation, multi-sensory integrations, food and flavor, vision and taste, sensory experiments, experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, crossmodal research


11:00 – 11:10am: Bruna Petreca (RCA)


11.10–11.30am: Paris Selinas (RCA)
The food industry has developed sophisticated tools and methods to measure the mechanical properties of food. However, the tasting experience is an affective, multisensory phenomenon that goes beyond the composition of ingredients. This presentation will explore how different ways of human expression (verbal language, visual representations & embodiment) can – or, in cases, cannot, enable people to articulate their tasting experiences. This work lies on the intersection of Human - Computer Interaction, Food Design and Open Design. Implications and opportunities for these three areas will be discussed.

11.30–11.50am: Chang Hee Lee (RCA)
This presentation considers that the extensive inputs of synesthesia have exceptional potentials that are capable of conceiving exciting design provocations. The presentation will cover how the intriguing properties of synesthesia can contribute to and encourage design outputs within the context of design. The presentation will mainly discuss three different properties of synaesthesia (translation, narrative and mental imagery) and will explore how they can potentially be applied in creative practices.

11.50am–12.50pm: Alejandro Salgado Montejo (Oxford), Clea Dese Brock (Oxford), Mathew Tompkins (Oxford)
How stable is our perception? Is perception the same as reality? Can we hack perception to alter reality? We have created a sensory story that involves vision, taste, touch, and sound, in order to discuss how our sensory experience greatly defines who we are, what we think, and what we believe. We have cooked up a series of demonstrations designed to invite you to explore your sensory experience and challenge you to rethink the senses. First Matt Tompkins will talk about vision and sensory illusions and how we can manipulate attention to create surprise and hack our visual experience. Afterwards Alejandro Salgado-Montejo will talk about the body as a mediator of vision-taste associations and their implications in everyday experiences and expectations. Finally Clea Desebrock will discuss how sound can mediate many of our everyday experiences and how we can tailor sonic messages to hack vision and taste.

12.50–1pm: Q&A
Round table discussion, chaired by Bruna Petreca

1–1.30pm: Exhibition