PROF. CHARLES SPENCE
Professor of the Senses, Experimental Psychologist, Neuroscientist, Keynote Speaker
Professor Charles Spence is a multi-award winning expert in the field of multisensory perception and neuroscience-inspired design.
Established 17 years ago, he is the head and founder of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University; it brings together leading psychologists, designers, sensory scientists, chefs, composers and marketers, who use the latest insights from neuroscience to design products and services that more effectively stimulate the senses of the consumer. Over the last 15 years Spence has published over 550 top-flight scientific articles, 8 books and his latest, The Perfect Meal: The multisensory science of food and dining, has just won the Popular Science Book Award in the U.S and is in reprint.
His lab’s pioneering work has had a real impact on Fortune 500 companies and Michelin starred chefs alike. It was through Heston Blumenthal’s collaborations with Spence (starting in 2002) that The Fat Duck’s infamous Sound of the Sea dish came about, and since then everyone from multinational companies to marketing agencies have been applying Spence’s sensory science to their products and experiences.
“Charles is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of multisensory perception, he has been one of my biggest inspirations”
Crossmodal research is the study of how our 5 senses work together and how our brains manage and process the information that forms the extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives. Scientists believe that a better understanding of the human mind will lead to the better design of multisensory foods, products, interfaces, and environments in the future. Spence calls for a radical new way of examining and understanding the senses that has major implications for the way in which we design everything from household products, packaging to mobile phones, and from the food we eat to the places in which we work and live. Projects include a new and enhanced inflight experience at British Airways, for Toyota warning signals that generate significantly faster responses from car drivers, at Häagen-Dazs an iPhone app (with competitors Ben & Jerry soon to copy) and his relationship with the wine industry has led to new multi-sensory marketing approaches that increase the value-perception of wine.
Winner of the 2015 Popular Science book award
and 2008 IG Nobel prize
Professor Spence is a passionate advocate in designing better-tasting, more stimulating, more memorable experiences... and he's not just talking about food. He champions for a more 360 approach to designing all products and services. Designers have always understood that good design involves all your sensors however Spence is unpicking the theory and getting behind what is really happening in the brain and why.
The Fat Duck
Chicago Ideas Week, U.S
Wine Vision, France
Hospitality Industry Summit, N.Z
International Neurogastronomy Symposium, U.S
Diálogos de cocina, Spain
Digital Biscuit, Ireland
Gelita Symposium, Germany
Digital Biscuit, Ireland
Future of Food, U.K
Alchemists' Flavour Festival, Greece
Wines of Argentina UK & U.S
Re:Co Symposium, Sweden
Fashion and the Senses Conference, U.K
Food, Water, and Health Conference, Italy
Symposium on Sound in Sensory Interactions, Singapore
Charles Spence is featured on Wired's The Future of Story Telling series
Charles Spence speaks at Google London
An interview with BBC World News
A talk at Symposium 2014
How a change in environment can change the experience of food and drink
A talk at Digital Biscuit
Sara Cox interviews Charles Spence for Just Eat - the perfect soundtrack to your takeaway revealed
A talk at Chicago Ideas Week