In the Realm of the Senses

This technique focuses on the five senses as an area of focus, attribute listing or idea prompter. I took the name from a film by Nagisa Oshima, and it evokes the idea of each sense evoking different sets of responses.

Think about various experiences you have had, such as hiking, running, dining out, falling in love and doing your job. Jot down your ideas about the different sensory components of each. An excellent way of using this technique is drawing a five senses mind map.

Mike Vance in his book Think Out of the Box describes the term "sensanation" coined during his time working for Walt Disney. Sensanation means simulatenously thinking in the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Sensanation gives us a wider range for thinking, and must be cued or triggered by some mental device to engage the creative process. Mike Vance's book gives some lists of associations for each of these senses, but you of course can make your own. Use a dictionary and a thesaurus to get started.


Last updated: 27th April 1997

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