Design for All 5 Senses | Jinsop Lee | TED Talks

Design for All 5 Senses | Jinsop Lee | TED Talks


In an age of global strife
and climate change, I’m here to answer
the all important question: Why is sex so damn good? If you’re laughing, you know what I mean. Now, before we get to that answer, let me tell you about Chris Hosmer. Chris is a great friend of mine
from my university days, but secretly, I hate him. Here’s why. Back in university,
we had a quick project to design some solar-powered clocks. Here’s my clock. It uses something called
the dwarf sunflower, which grows to about 12 inches in height. Now, as you know, sunflowers track the sun
during the course of the day. So in the morning, you see
which direction the sunflower is facing, and you mark it on the blank
area in the base. At noon, you mark the changed
position of the sunflower, and in the evening again,
and that’s your clock. Now, I know my clock doesn’t
tell you the exact time, but it does give you a general
idea using a flower. So, in my completely unbiased,
subjective opinion, it’s brilliant. However, here’s Chris’s clock. It’s five magnifying glasses
with a shot glass under each one. In each shot glass
is a different scented oil. In the morning, the sunlight
will shine down on the first magnifying glass, focusing a beam of light
on the shot glass underneath. This will warm up the scented oil inside, and a particular smell will be emitted. A couple of hours later,
the sun will shine on the next magnifying glass,
and a different smell will be emitted. So during the course of the day,
five different smells are dispersed throughout that environment. Anyone living in that house
can tell the time just by the smell. You can see why I hate Chris. I thought my idea was pretty good, but his idea is genius, and at the time, I knew
his idea was better than mine, but I just couldn’t explain why. One thing you have to know
about me is I hate to lose. This problem’s been bugging me
for well over a decade. All right, let’s get back
to the question of why sex is so good. Many years after the solar
powered clocks project, a young lady I knew suggested
maybe sex is so good because of the five senses. And when she said this, I had an epiphany. So I decided to evaluate different
experiences I had in my life from the point of view of the five senses. To do this, I devised something
called the five senses graph. Along the y-axis, you have
a scale from zero to 10, and along the x-axis, you have,
of course, the five senses. Anytime I had a memorable
experience in my life, I would record it on this graph
like a five senses diary. Here’s a quick video
to show you how it works. (Video) Jinsop Lee: Hey, my name’s Jinsop, and today, I’m going to show
you what riding motorbikes is like from the point of view
of the five senses. Hey! Bike designer: This is [unclear],
custom bike designer. (Motorcyle revving) [Sound] [Touch] [Sight] [Smell] [Taste] JL: And that’s how the five senses
graph works. Now, for a period of three years,
I gathered data, not just me but also some of my friends, and I used to teach
in university, so I forced my — I mean, I asked my students
to do this as well. So here are some other results. The first is for instant noodles. Now obviously, taste
and smell are quite high, but notice sound is at three. Many people told me a big part of the noodle-eating experience
is the slurping noise. You know. (Slurps) Needless to say, I no longer
dine with these people. OK, next, clubbing. OK, here what I found interesting was that taste is at four,
and many respondents told me it’s because of the taste of drinks, but also, in some cases, kissing is a big
part of the clubbing experience. These people I still do hang out with. All right, and smoking. Here I found touch is at [six],
and one of the reasons is that smokers told me the sensation
of holding a cigarette and bringing it up to your lips is a big
part of the smoking experience, which shows, it’s kind of scary to think how well cigarettes are designed
by the manufacturers. OK. Now, what would the perfect
experience look like on the five senses graph? It would, of course, be
a horizontal line along the top. Now you can see, not
even as intense an experience as riding a motorbike comes close. In fact, in the years
that I gathered data, only one experience came close
to being the perfect one. That is, of course, sex. Great sex. Respondents said that great sex hits all of the five senses
at an extreme level. Here I’ll quote
one of my students who said, “Sex is so good, it’s good
even when it’s bad.” So the five senses
theory does help explain why sex is so good. Now in the middle of all this
five senses work, I suddenly remembered
the solar-powered clocks project from my youth. And I realized this theory
also explains why Chris’s clock is so much better than mine. You see, my clock only focuses on sight, and a little bit of touch. Here’s Chris’s clock. It’s the first clock ever
that uses smell to tell the time. In fact, in terms of the five senses, Chris’s clock is a revolution. And that’s what this theory
taught me about my field. You see, up till now, us designers, we’ve mainly focused on making
things look very pretty, and a little bit of touch, which means we’ve ignored
the other three senses. Chris’s clock shows us
that even raising just one of those other senses can
make for a brilliant product. So what if we started using
the five senses theory in all of our designs? Here’s three quick ideas I came up with. This is an iron, you
know, for your clothes, to which I added a spraying mechanism, so you fill up the vial
with your favorite scent, and your clothes will smell nicer, but hopefully it should also make the ironing experience more enjoyable. We could call this “the perfumator.” All right, next. So I brush my teeth twice a day, and what if we had a toothbrush that tastes like candy, and when the taste of candy ran out, you’d know it’s time
to change your toothbrush? Finally, I have a thing for the keys
on a flute or a clarinet. It’s not just the way they look,
but I love the way they feel when you press down on them. Now, I don’t play the flute
or the clarinet, so I decided to combine these keys
with an instrument I do play: the television remote control. Now, when we look at these
three ideas together, you’ll notice that the five senses theory doesn’t only change the way
we use these products but also the way they look. So in conclusion, I’ve found
the five senses theory to be a very useful tool in evaluating different experiences in my life, and then taking those best experiences and hopefully incorporating
them into my designs. Now, I realize the five senses
isn’t the only thing that makes life interesting. There’s also the six emotions and that elusive x-factor. Maybe that could be
the topic of my next talk. Until then, please have fun using the five senses in your own lives and your own designs. Oh, one last thing before I leave. Here’s the experience you
all had while listening to the TED Talks. However, it would be better
if we could boost up a couple of the other senses
like smell and taste. And the best way to do that is with free candy. You guys ready? All right. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Design for All 5 Senses | Jinsop Lee | TED Talks

  1. i've always thought the Indian-English dialect has a British-sounding twang to it. He's got a mixed accent that's deff, at least, a little British.

  2. Mr Lee mentiones 5 senses, 6 emotions and factor X at the end of this video, and it makes very interesting multidimentional table indeed. Is there any theory/research explaining this complex chart in details? Anybody knows? Would be greatful to get it!

  3. Łukasz Piszczek,
    Also look up Daniel H. Pink "A Whole New Mind" he has some great info on this. Jinsop Lee and Daniel H Pink need to come together on a book. Now that would be great…

  4. There's a very good reason why you don't smell food or taste it when riding a bike.

    SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON THE LIFE SAVING PROPERTIES OF SEEING, FEELING AND HEARING needed for riding a bike safely.

  5. "Why not have a toothbrush that tastes of candy?"

    Because you will want to wash the pubic hair off your toothbrush when you drop it. Fun ideas, but highly impractical.

  6. More (important) stuff about senses. People do have a sixth sense; their own mind. You have the senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste and mind. Your mind is like a sense, because your consciousness senses or experiences the mind’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings the same way it does light, sounds, sensations, scents and tastes. You receive the input from your mind the same way you receive input from your five life senses, but what the mind creates is not real/true. Google truthcontest because I will not write more here because then nobody will read this 😀

  7. Not everything could use all five senses , but could be more than two , it is a great idea but not for all products. And may make it to be more complicate.

  8. I fking love this!!!!
    I was talking to someone about creating an experience with the 5 senses and could only come up w a 'fancy' dining experience!
    I wanna be a multi sense designer toooooooooo
    Omg omg

  9. Regarding the sunflower-clock vs. the magnifying-glass one- I liked them both.
    The sunflower-one links the movement of the tiny sunflower with the movement of the cosmological sun-so you're linking a small object to something huge out there in the sky. The magnifying-glass one also has a link with the movement of the sun, but the owner might not feel compelled to look at this link. The scent might dissuade him/her from even looking at the apparatus. Is one more sensuous than the other? I don't think so. It's just that we have become so used to seeing and much less to smelling that anything that the act of scenting an aroma seems more 'sensuous' to us.

  10. With cigarettes, its' also the 'high'- now how would you describe that through the senses-framework? I think the best way to describe that is through the sense of balance- yes, that's legitimately considered to be a sense today.

  11. It's no theory but a fact. Design is a way of communication, and connection is delivered through senses. And, there are more than just five senses and six emotions.

  12. The most amazing. Convincing and adding taste to the experience. I loved it very much, I think it will contribute a great deal to the design of the spaces
    It was very nice to distribute the sweets and even if you could smell them over the screen, it was legendary
    Thank you

  13. Soon enough we will reach such advanced technology that we can literally get candy from him from this video.

  14. someone knows of recommendations of books, studies, designers or articles in depth of this subject of industrial design and the 5 senses ? , if someone can tell me some to read I would be very grateful

  15. I never understood why people ate in the movie theater, it only distracts from the full engagement of the story and movie itself. This explains it.

  16. Hey, maybe his last chart could have boosted up the touch sense as well, since people in the audience were going to catch the candies, right? Love the talk though, Cheers!

  17. I found this also when I think about my business..one of what human nature pursue is seeking for pleasure..and pleasure is only felt by 5 senses

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