Sensory semiotics

Date of publication: June 15, 2015

Author: Fiona McNae


This presentation will review recent thinking on how cultural phenomena can influence sensation. Brands rely on cultural meaning for their value, so the creation and management of that meaning is critical. We know that (i) the meaning a brand communicates is derived through the senses, and that (ii) meaning is constructed in cultural context. Semiotics is a technique for understanding how this meaning is constructed. Using the example of our current collaboration with Bompas and Parr at the British Museum of Food, we will show how we are investigating how collective cultural ideas can directly impact sensory perception. This work has important implications for how we understand the link between cultural experiences and sensation through food, and by implication, through brands and consumer experiences.

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