Independent Research: Synesthesia
2018 - Present — Toronto
Began as a University Project
This research began with a project I undertook in third year university. The challenge of the project was to merge the concept of empathy with another, to create a product or experience that was a reflection of this fusion. I chose the concept of synesthesia and wondered how I could make people see the world through a synesthete’s eyes. I began by producing a series of collages to define which sensory pathways I wanted to connect. I then wrote a code that allowed people to see their faces along with colorful blobs through a laptop’s camera. I wanted to test the hypothesis that we are all synesthetic to an extent and to that end created an interactive one-on-one ethnographic interview and consulted a behavioral psychologist to write the interview guideline. This research is an iterative and ongoing process. Official research data will be published once I reach a minimum of three hundred interviews.
Here are some notable observations: Most people are surprised to see how much their senses are interconnected and how naturally their responses arise. Interestingly, for two of the questions, one connecting sight-smell the other sight-concept, almost everyone gives me the same answer. Interview results will be published in a small booklet. Stay tuned!