November 2 2017
Using Multisensory Design to Improve Human Experience
The smell of damp woodland after autumn rain, the sound of birds high up in the trees and leaves covering the surface as a gentle fog rolls towards me. Picking up the silver leaf, its weight and smooth surface feels satisfying in my hand. I look down at the miniature mushroom landscape presented in front of me, beautiful to the eye, almost too good to eat. Taking a scoop I close my eyes and I’m transported to another place, somewhere from a long forgotten childhood fantasy…
In a split second I’m back in the room, surrounded by 7 other diners, on the top floor of a warehouse in the middle of High Barnet; I’m at Kitchen Theory’s Gastrophysics Chef’s Table, course 8 into a multisensory immersive dining experience hosted by Chef Jozef Youssef and his talented team.
Time to reengage…
In an age where we are constantly surrounded by technology and screen based interactions this proved to be a refreshing and thought proving experience, putting our most natural and most precious resources as humans in the foreground. I was experiencing complete multisensory design, a carefully crafted manipulation of my senses to influence my perception of flavour. While this form of ‘sensory wizardry’ is more common in the food and beverage industry, architecture, interior design and even automotive; how much is multisensory design really considered in the development of consumer electronics today? I’m not talking about smell-o-vision, but delightful little physical & sensorial human to machine interactions (HMIs) that allow us to re-engage with the real world; physical immersive experiences that coexist with the digital ones?