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" Colour is the key.The eye is the hammer.The soul is the piano with its many chords.The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key, sets the soul vibrating automatically."

       --- Wassily Kandinsky

  Research Centres  

Synaesthesia Research Centre (Canada)

American Synesthesia Association

Dr. Hugo Heyrman,
Belgian Synesthesia Association.

  MULTI: Multi-user Laser Texture Interface

The starting point for this project will be a 3D CG environment titled THE LIBRARY. The Library has always been a metaphor for knowledge and information and in the Library of the future we will explore the full potential of hypertext and how literacy may be represented and accessed through different means.

The development of this interactive synesthetic experience is uniquely suited to 3D – the equipment and technology needed to carry out such sophisticated interactive projects is now within reach.

The collaborative user interface for this system will be multiple laser pointers which function both as navigation devices and as the means to manipulate objects within the Library environment. Simultaneous participation of multiple viewers is a significant aspect of this project as we intend to measure not only the impact of synesthetic experience on creativity, but also the relationship between creativity and collaboration.


  What is Synesthesia?  

Literally, the word synesthesia means ‘joined sensation’ (Greek: syn = union + aisthesis = to perceive).

Synesthesia is a condition where the perception of an external object or experience, triggers a perceptual experience in additional sensory modalities. For example, the visual perception of an object may also trigger an auditory sensation, or the auditory perception of a sound may also trigger a tactual sensation.

At its most basic, synesthesia describes multi-sensory experience. Specifically, synesthesia describes the phenomenon of experiencing visual, auditory, tactual stimuli as inter-linked. For those with synesthetic sensitivity, a triangle is perceived not only as a shape but may simultaneously be experienced as a sound (eg. a bell) or a colour (eg. red).


  ©2004 Nancy Paterson