Open Senses is the world's first festival devoted to sensory practice, the sensory arts and research. It was launched in May 2017 as a three-day festival across 25 London venues and featuring 50 events and the work of 200 practitioners. 

Open Senses positions London as the world-leading centre of excellence in sensory practice. We invite all Londoners, as well as each and every tourist and visitor, to freely come and open their noses, tastebuds, and skin to the world; to notice and savour the natural, physical environment around them.

Sensory practice not only encourages accessibility and inclusivity, it builds deep connections between people and their environments. Open Senses showcases sensory practice as a powerful tool to evoke true human emotion and create warm, lasting memories.

We envision a world where people are more aware of how the senses combine and interact with each other. We believe this awareness will make people more able to connect with their environments, with the people around them and most of all with themselves. 

Our mission is to use creative approaches to increase people’s awareness of how to use their senses and how their senses combine to result in an improved perception of the environment, of others and of one's self. This leads to appreciating life in a fuller and more profound way.


Creative Director
Stephanie Singer

Josh McNorton

Ronald Ligtenberg

Lawrence Becko

Development Advisor
Jon Slack

Creative Advisor
Eugene Feygelson

Symposium Assistant Producer
Kayleigh Drake

Graphics Designer
Rob Ricketts

Volunteer Coordinator
Samantha Dube

Hub Coordinators
Anya Ovcharenko
Judy Nadel
Linz Nakorn

Accessibility Advisors
Kara Jarrold
Marcus Innis
Zara Jayne Arnold

Marketing/Comms Support
Tania Mendes
Tom Price-Stephens

Festival Blogger
Natasha Blok

Production Assistant
Kare Khoo

Academic Advisors
Prof. Barry Smith (Institute of Philosophy, UCL)
Prof. Charles Spence (Oxford University)
Dr. Clare Jonas
Dr. Ophelia Deroy (Institute of Philosophy, UCL)
Dr. Rozelle Kane
Prof. Sophie Scott (UCL)

Arts, Culture, Creative Strategy
James Wannerton
Jo Barratt (Vetyver)
Megan Kieran
Steve Cross (Wellcome)

Core Advisors
Claire Sokell-Thomson
Daniel Ospina
Tereza Stehlikova
Amy Neilson-Smith


A tendency for a sensory feature or attribute in one sensory modality to be matched with a sensory feature in another modality. For example: high pitch with small objects, low pitch with large objects. Crossmodal correspondences are, in general, consistently shared across individuals. Crossmodal correspondences do not include semantic congruencies, where two sensory features are matched in terms of identity or meaning. 

Also known as: synaesthetic correspondences, synaesthetic associations, crossmodal equivalences, crossmodal similarities, crossmodal associations, natural crossmodal mappings, metaphorical crossmodal mappings.

Crossmodal correspondence

A general term that refers to instances when two sensory features match in some way, whether it is spatial proximity (being in the same location), temporal proximity (occurring at the same time), semantic association (sharing the same meaning), amodal congruency (sharing the same feature that exists across modalities, such as size or intensity), or crossmodal correspondences. 

Crossmodal congruency

A neurological phenomenon where stimulation of one sensory modality leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory modality. Different from crossmodal correspondences in that the synaesthesia mappings tend to be idiosyncratic, unidirectional, and intransitive (whereas crossmodal correspondences tend to be shared by a majority of the population, is bidirectional, and transitive). There are two types of synaesthetes - projector synaesthetes experience the evoked sensory response as an external stimuli; associator synaesthetes experiences the evoked sensory response in their internal mental space.


How information from different sensory modalities are integrated (or segregated) by the nervous system in order to form a coherent perception of the world. Influenced by spatial and temporal proximity, but also by semantic congruency (where two attributes from different sensory modalities match in identity or meaning, such as woofing sound paired with the image of a dog) and crossmodal correspondences. Also see: crossmodal binding problem - which of the many stimuli from different sensory modalities should be bound together?

Multisensory integration

An experience that involves multiple sensory inputs, regardless of whether the sensory inputs form a coherent whole.

Multisensory experience

(unrelated to crossmodal correspondence, crossmodal congurences, synaesthesia, multisensory integration, or multisensory experience)  

Crossmodalism is movement born from the synthesis of art, science, and entrepreneurship. It is based in learning and collaboration across non-traditionally linked disciplines, ideas, and communities. Through this foundation, Crossmodalism fosters an appreciation of the full human experience in connection to its social and natural environment.