Psychogeographical Synaesthesia

This project was exhibited at the V&A’s ‘Un-built / Deconstructing Architecture’ event, as part of the 2012 London Festival of Architecture. 


Working with auditory - gustatory synaesthete James Wannerton, photographer Dominic Davies sound artist Julian Brown I curated an experience which simulated James’s personal synaesthesic relationship with his surroundings on a journey through the city. I worked with James Wannerton to create a psycho-geographical mapping of London through his synaesthesia, these gustatory and olfactory ‘sensations’ were paired with the visual and auditory stimulus. Guests were given a bag of 'Synsations' containing the gustatory pairings and the space was scented with rhubarb which paired with the soundscape. 

“Being a gustatory synaesthete, for me sound, colour and flavour have always been inextricably linked. This project was carefully constructed in a way which intimately and accurately took guests inside this sensory ‘mish-mash’, creating an interactive simulation which non-synaesthetes could explore. I've worked on many attempts using differing media to accurately portray the synaesthetic experience and this was the most accurate and certainly best received I have ever been involved with” James Wannerton, President of the UK Synaesthesia Association. 

The series of images shot by Dominic Davies capture the atmospheric and emotional feel of these architectural spaces and the sound composed by Julian Brown used a binaural recording of the london underground as context, retracing locations that have gustatory significance to James. 

Photography by Dominic Davies