V International Congress Synesthesia, Science & Art. 16th- 19th may 2015

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Can synesthetic perception help to define an attractive product design?

Michael Haverkamp Germany Ford Werke GmbH

Configuration of products and living environments is a highly creative process within which perception plays a major role. Thus the question arises how individual phenomena of perception can be included into concepts and processes of design.

Individual types of synesthesia cause unique phenomena. The design of products, buildings and environments, however, requires approaches which are intuitively understood by a broad community. Usually, designing of industrial products requires various steps, into which numerous designers and engineers are involved. Therefore, inclusion of idiosyncratic input like fixed forms or colors as caused by synesthetic perception is a challenge. This needs broad acceptance by the development teams.

Perception is a multi-sensory phenomenon. Thus results of a design process focused on single senses are limited compared to a multi-sensory or a cross-sensory approach. A variety of applications will illustrate the benefit of multi-sensory design:
1. Meaningful sounds which include cross-sensory implications help to make technical functions plausible to the user. As an example, the behavior of visual objects on a screen can be expressed auditorily.
2. The appearance of materials is perceived by various senses. Even in case a surface is viewed, but not touched, the visual appearance evokes expectations of the materials nature, the haptic experience, its touch sound and smell. Thus, by means of memorized data, the stimulation of a single sense causes multi-sensory experience. In these cases, genuine synesthesia is capable to enrich sensory experience. In the usual cases of multi-sensory stimulation, specific synesthetic phenomena can also enrich perception, but show a potential to disturb perceptual integration.
3. The spatial perception is also an important topic for design of products and environments. Here, the focus is put upon cross-sensory interactions between spatial configurations as landscape, touchscape, soundscape, and even emotionscape.

Genuine synesthesia provides additional sets of sensations. Although these phenomena cannot easily be included into design processes valid for a large population of customers, they are appropriate to be utilized as an extended creativity pool. Permanently, artist, designers, and engineers need to enhance their creativity and conceptual thinking by means of individual perception. Daily-life experience generates an ever growing pool of sensory cross-linking. In case of genuine synesthesia, even more, and rather extraordinary data add to this cluster. It promotes modification and new combinations of perceptual contents, thus forming the base of creativity. Conceptual thinking can further sensitize perception, thus enhancing the creativity pool. Perceptual training and education are therefore essential parts of recent product development to which synesthesia contributes.
Jun 13, 10:12 GMT  


SYNESTHETIC FOOD. Tools for the design of audiovisual artefacts

Dina Riccò, PhD. Politecnico di Milano,

The topic of the food is living a moment of great interest and evolution:
1. the food is the theme of the next Universal Exposition EXPO Milano 2015, open in Milan from May 2015, therefore concomitant to this conference;
2. the technological innovations of the molecular gastronomy, the invention of 3D printers not only for objects and artificial products, but also for natural products - see the recent invention of a 3D Fruit Printer by Dovetailed (an user experience design studio and innovation lab, founded in 2011 in Cambridge UK). Therefore with the novel 3D printing technique – as in last century it has been for the design of the objects with the invention of the plastic materials – the taste, texture, size and shape of the natural products can all be customised.
Can the studies on the synesthesia help the study, the aware consumption, and the design of communication on the food? In particular two motivations suggest us the study of this theme:
1. on the gustatory synesthesia – in comparison to others as the synesthesies audio/visuals – there are few studies (see: among the first ones the case studied by Sollier, 1891; also the known one and deepened case studied by Cytowic, 1993);
2. at the same time, in the design of the communication, the auditory and the visual they have respective media of communication, while this doesn't happen for the gustatory.
This means that the design of the communication of gustatory sensations necessarily owes to use synesthesies, metaphoric, linguistics or representative.
If we compare the cases of gustatory synesthesia with the design solutions of audiovisual communication on the food, is it possible to find associative recurrences related to the food that are commun to the whole population?
Sensory quality as sweet, bitter, salty, acid and others more complex that cross are with tactile and propriocettive sensory (soft, crisp, creamy, light, soft), or of temperature (fresh, frozen, hot), etc. by which characters of the audio/visual them can be represented?
Can the synesthetic characters of the audiovisual help us in the choice and in the consumption of the food?
Other opened questions are specific of the food of the molecular gastronomy, the synesthetic relations:
- can help us to recognize an edible food?
- can help us in the coherence between perceptive expectation and tasting?
- can help us to increase (or to reduce) the aesthetical desirability of a food for consumers with specific problem of health? (anorexia, bulimia, diabetes, during the use of chemoterapics).
The paper, also leaving some questions still opened, it will try to define guidelines for the design of communication.

Dina Riccò Ph.D.
Degree in Architecture, Ph.D in Industrial design, she is Researcher of the Design Department and Professor in Design school at Politecnico di Milano University (Italy).
Jun 10, 14:02 GMT  

Visual Interplay of Graphics and their Induced Synesthetic Sensation

Toni Froehlich. University of Basel. Switzerland
I am a synesthete experiencing several kind of synthetic forms. In my presention I will focus on the most pronounced form which is a visual synesthetic sensation caused by the perception of the eyes. The synesthetic sensation superimposes the perceived image with diaphanous colors in different levels of luminance. The synesthic shapes are in general abstract, two-dimensional and colored.
In order to investigate this form of synethesia I use an experimental setup with a computer connected to a sufficient big screen. The computer generates an abstract image on the screen which is a combination of basic elements like ellipses or rectangles on a white background. I compare the shapes and colors between the real image and my synesthetic projection, and find out possible relationships among them.

My synesthesia is not directly related to the perceived image in my visual field. Instead, the shapes and colors on the screen trigger an emotional and esthetic evaluation which expresses itself into a visual synesthesic sensation. Other factors like the noise level, light conditions or other objects surrounding the screen may also influences the synesthesic sensation.
Jun 15, 22:46 GMT  


MODA COLOR IDEASTESIA- SINESTESIA. Los caminos del color en la moda.

Luis Casablanca MiguelesDto. Dibujo. Universidad de Granada España

Chacón Gordillo. Universidad de Granada España

El color y la moda van unidos de la mano de manera indisoluble, bien está claro que en arte muchos movimientos vanguardistas le prestaron atención a la moda y concretamente al color ya como fuente de inspiración, como fuente de investigación o como precursor de un cambio vital. Citaré como ejemplo las implicaciones y estudio de la Bauhaus en la realización de los talleres textiles dirigidos por Gunta Stolzl, los diseños florares o de follaje de Gustav Klimt, los trajes futuristas de Giacomo Balla y los diseños orfistas de Sonia Delaunay, por citar a algunos, sabemos de la estrecha relación artística entre Dalí y la diseñadora Elsa Schiaparelli que dio fruto a una extendida participación de ambos en proyectos de moda.

Una notable característica de la historia del color en la moda nos lleva a preguntarnos porque algunas colecciones son verdaderos hallazgos cromáticos e inconfundibles colores proporcionan a la marca nada menos que sus señas identidad, Ej. El color rojo valentino.

Esta ponencia pretende avanzar en este aspecto y buscar la interesante relación de la IDEASTESIA Y LA SINESTESIA en relación a la moda y el color.


A striking feature of the history of color in fashion leads one to ask because some collections are real and distinct findings chromatic colors to provide nothing less than their brand identity signs, for example,Valentino Red red.

This paper aims to advance this issue and look for the interesting relationship IDEASTESIA AND SYNESTHESIA regarding fashion and color.

Dr Luís Casablanca Migueles. Profesor Contratado Doctor, Departamento de Dibujo, Facultad Bellas Artes. Dedicado al diseño desde 1988. Pintor, Ilustrador y Diseñador. Su tesis, “La Moda como Disciplina Artística en España. La generación de los Nuevos Creadores. La obra de Jesús del Pozo, fue premiada en el año 2009 con el Premio Nacional Etnológico Márquez de Lozoya otorgado por el Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia de España.
Ha colaborado e ilustrado en los más importantes periódicos y revistas nacionales e internacionales. Sus exposiciones se relacionan con el Binomio ARTE Y MODA. Como la realizada en el Museo Nacional del Traje de Madrid, “Ausencias Vestidas y Reflejos desnudos a Federico García Lorca”,

Dr. Pedro David Chacón Gordillo. Profesor Ayudante Doctor, Departamento Didáctica de la Expresión Musical, Plástica y Corporal.
Es experto en enseñanzas sobre educación artística, cultura visual y dibujo infantil, participando con su investigación en numerosas revistas indexadas hispanoamericanas y españolas. Entre estas publicaciones destacan algunas como La mujer como objeto sexual en la publicidad publicado en la revista Comunicar (Revista Científica Iberoamericana de Comunicación y Educación); La lógica poética. Una fenomenología del pensamiento artístico publicado en la revista Arte, Individuo y Sociedad.

Jun 12, 16:56 GMT  

Tactile and visual action plan: sensoriality and access design




Politecnico di Milano

Packaging is viewed as the synthesis of a number of projects through which material technologies meet semiotics, graphic design meets structural design and manufacturing processes meet synaesthetic dimensions. In this light, special attention has been paid to the relationships between the tactile and the visual dimensions of the object and in particular to their qualities, the way these relationships respond to different functions, and the various levels of interaction created between them and their target.?  This paper offers an outline of the work carried out on the object of study (packaging) in the last few years, work supported by the results of research conducted on cardboard packages. Paper and cardboard carry with them their own  superficial qualities and their own material code, talking to the eyes and inviting touch (Fiorani 2000). These tactile and visual characteristics with their ability to connect the surface to what lies beneath, are at the service of both the persuasiveness of the object and its operational and performing functions, promoting its identity as a tool capable of facilitating  physical interaction in its consumption through what is called an action plan. (Leroi Gourhan 1964).?The research we have conducted studies how packaging, more or less implicitly, can “steer” and “teach” users how to follow a specific motive programme  (Deni 2002) and the role of the tactile and visual dimension in the process of  visual anticipation of the action plan

?Work has been carried out in two stages. The first step involved a desk analysis based on a selected range of products, the second was of a testing kind through the development of sharedobservation of the user's behaviour. In particular, through research, we have analized the comunicative-prescriptive dimension of  the selected packages in order to identify the difficulties which might arise in their use in more or less favourable situations (e.g.low light conditions) considering different targets and different times and conditions. This has been achieved to convey a picture of the recurrent incoherences between the “designer's model” – estimated by researchers – and the“user's model” observed by researchers.

Nov 01, 15:26 GMT

04. Graphics, Design and Synesthesia

packaging, action plan, access

Acercamientos a la sinestesia a través de la animación primitiva y digital. La metáfora visual como elemento sinestésico creativo en publicidad.





La obra audiovisual, nos permite la transcripción de emociones, sentimientos, sueños e ideas, por medio de unos códigos visuales, donde intervienen el sonido, el color y el movimiento.Lo llamaremos metáfora visual sinestesica.
En sus inicios, la animación tenía una visión cuasi científica del sonido y la imagen ya que muchos de ellos se iniciaron en el mundo de la animación de un modo más científico y analítico (experimentación) que artístico.
El rápido desarrollo de la informática y de los diversos sistemas de edición de imagen y vídeo nos permite en la actualidad infinitas posibilidades creativas, como defendía John Whitney, padre de los “Motion Graphycs ink”

En el ensayo se abordarán los diferentes procesos y técnicas con las que trabaja en la actualidad el mundo de la animación 2D, 3D y Motion Graphycs. Veremos como las grandes marcas se nutren de la habilidad creativa para dotar al producto, mediante el tratamiento audiovisual, de cualidades de tipo emocional y sinestésico o sensorial y la lectura y el uso que hacen en los medios publicitarios de este trabajo para hacer más visible su producto.

Nov 01, 20:28 GMT .

04. Graphics, Design and Synesthesia

animación, metáfora, video


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