Claudia Miranda
UX + XR designer, new media artist, and content creator living in Oakland, CA

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Creative Drill: Designing Multi-sensory Experiences

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When I experience things I often create mental collages or vignettes  (multi-sensory mood boards?) of my reactions. I do this with visual art, music, scents, movies, food - anything that can be experienced. It happens automatically and I don't try to restrain it as I've come to appreciate my mind's response to the experience. The themes are typically related to recent encounters or experiences, disparate ideas that find a home in a collection.  Sometimes I'm taken by the seeming randomness of it. This is the same mental muscle I rely on when I'm designing experiences. Even if I'm only tasked with one of the many digital media components, considering the whole pictures: the experience of the story, message and mood - is what I strive to stay mindful of.

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Here is an example of multi-sensory vignette I've put together as an exercise:

FLAVOR First off, a recipe I've been obsessed with lately by by Ivania Carpio at Love Aesthetics. It was my first time cooking with agar so it took about three tries before I got it right (I think). I also ended up modifying the recipe slightly by using honey instead of agave syrup and adding about a teaspoon of rose water. I couldn't get the consistency to let the vanilla bean sink to the bottom like Ivania's version - but the vanilla specks in my version remind me of inverse digital noise.

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TEXTURE After years of looking in thrift stores for milk glass, I've finally had luck and found a few vases. Not to be too matchy-matchy (visually) with the coconut treats but I find the texture of this milk glass vase symmetrical and surprisingly bold for something so minimal (all white). The subtle translucence of the glass reminds me of the coconut treat too.

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SCENT Flower by Kenzo has a lovely powdery rose scent. I don't usually go for flowery fragrances but this one feels modern and minimal. It invokes a certain timelessness and modernity.  I feel milky when I wear it - organic and luscious. The translucent tall and narrow bottle mirrors the shape of the vase. It looks like an award or experimental sculpture.

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SOUND Finally, the music that I feel goes with and enhances the experience of all of the aforementioned sensory bits is one of my favorite songs, Dr Tyrell's Owl by Vangelis. Digital, classic, spacious, light, and slightly feminine.