5 Senses? Lets make it 21!

There are so many blogs out there listing the REAL number of senses that the human body has each claiming a different number and a different list. As part of a current project we are looking into this “official” list of senses, elaborating on the 5 basic senses that we get taught from a young age. But first the design process that brought us to this idea…

Our exhibition project – as part of the international GIDE project – has the theme fabrication (to lie or to build). We first researched the subjects that lied to us and the senses repeatedly cropped up. We took this idea and with further research could not define each fabrication of the sense to the specific 5 senses that we knew, so that made us think there was so many more to investigate.

As our realisation started to grow as did the number and our concept developed further bringing the other definition of fabrication into play. We took the space for the exhibition (The DSA) and looked at the fabrication of it and with inspiration from an exhibition on fabrication we decided that we wanted to physically re-fabricate the space in relation to the human sense. In a way fabricate the senses of a human into the building itself, bringing human elements to the space.

The exhibition would be a sensorium allowing the user to experience and reflect the 21 senses of the body, in perhaps a less obvious way. It wouldn’t in a sense be an educational exhibition, for example like a science centre, but more a spatial awareness exhibit that explored the sensual interior design of the building.

So back to these 21 senses. As we defined these senses big words like quilibrioception were not in shortage (no wonder we they never taught us these in the first place!) and as a design student and not a biologist it wasn’t the easiest to recognise the meaning of the sense by just reading the name. We needed a visual connection to create a fast and creative spark that allowed us identify the sense.  

So 21 senses means 21 visuals!

We will start with the first 4… auditory, gustatory, visual and olfactory. The last of the main 5 is touch but there are more senses within that initial sense…

Thermoception, Nocioception (Sense of Pain), tactician.

Then we start to get those hidden senses that can’t really be associated with an organ…

Kinesthetic (movement), Proprioception (knowing where your body parts are), Quillibrioception (balance)

Then there are the senses that we believe are there but not necessarily confirmed medically!

Spiritual sense, Intuition, Telepathy

Sense of attraction, Sense of direction, Sense of presence, The twin sense

Then there is the condition that merges all the initial senses together and we decided to define that as a whole sense…

Synesthesia, when people sense things differently. They see colours when hearing, they taste when they see, they see shapes when they taste.

Then the last three are the Sense of Danger, the Somatic sense and Precongnition (images will become available shortly).


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