For San Francisco Design Week Open Studios, my team at Cogs & Marvel decided to create a few interactions that demonstrate how we approach experience design. This one, Senseploration, plays with crossmodalism, the interaction of two or more senses. Inspired by the ‘gastrophysics’ work of Dr. Charles Spence at Oxford, we created a controlled experiment to determine whether color and sound can affect perceived taste.
Working with local chocolatier, Kiki’s Cocoa, we commissioned custom chocolates with four flavor notes and then asked guests to sample them in two different environments, answering a digital survey about which ones tasted more sweet, bitter, grassy and spicy. As predicted, the audience detected different flavor notes in the different spaces with different visual and aural cues.
Multi-sensory play makes experiences more dimensional and interesting, as well as more accessible to those whose primary sense might not include sight, sound, or touch. Having more ways to engage a narrative means more guests can participate.