CrossLab — Sensory Shopping

Investigating the power of senses, shopping and new media

Assignment 1

This assignment will take place outside of the classroom and around the city of Rotterdam. You will be working in teams of two. It is an experiment designed to test your understanding of sight and sound.

What you will need:

  • blindfold & earplugs — these will be distributed in your classroom either by Aldje or Deanna from CrossLab (3DC, 2e inbreiding, Blaak:  3DD/3DE, 4127 Wijnhaven)
  • digital camera, to take some photos

What you will be doing:
This assignment is to test your ability to understand what is around you with the loss of one of your senses. Today we will be testing sight and sound. In pairs, you will be working together: as you walk through the city, one of you will be blindfolded, while the other will be wearing earplugs. You must help each other to navigate to the following three locations to take a photograph to demonstrate you were there. At some point in this exercise, you will switch roles. In this way you will each experience Rotterdam without using your eyes and ears. In your blog, you will write about your experiences, what you felt, how you felt and what you noticed. How did the wind feel when you couldn’t see anything? What smells do you recognize when you walk through the centre? How different is the city when you can’t hear it (or your music?). What was your overall experience in this new way?

What to do:
I want you to visit my 3 favourite locations in Rotterdam and take a picture to prove you were there. The 3 locations are:

  • WillemsBrug
  • Dudok Cafe
  • Rotterdam Centraal Station

What route you take is up to you, but here is an example:

  • walk to WillemsBrug from WdKA and take the photo of Rotterdam Centre from the bridge.
  • walk to Blaak Station and take the metro to Centraal. Take a photo of the construction that is taking place there. The old station is almost gone, what machines do you hear?
  • walk from Centraal to Dudok, along the Lijnbaan. Do you recognize any of the shops based on smell alone? How hard is it to navigate that crowded street when you can’t see, can’t hear?
  • In Dudok, have a well-deserved coffee and sit for a minute. What are the sounds inside Dudok? What do you see? Is Dudok the same experience when you don’t hear anything?

Take lots of photos and post to your blogs about your experiences…keep in mind that this is a course on Visual Merchandising with new technologies…what are the other senses going to do in your visual merchandising project later this term? How can you also make use of sound? How can you make something attractive when you can’t see it?

As some of you have already noticed, I am reading your blogs regularly, and posting comments where necessary. Though I will not be with you physically on your trip this week, I will be watching from Dubai where I am on a workshop. I will also be posting some of my own experiences from there, it promises to be a very interesting experience.

If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the CrossLab office in room in Blaak 10. Or you can email me at G.A.Verhoeven [at]


[you can download and print this page from here: –> Assignment 1 – Sight and Sound ]


2 Responses to “Assignment 1”

  1. […] 11 maart 2008 Ingedeeld onder: Sight, Sound — wencrosslab @ 9:45 pm Naar aanleiding van assignment 1 ”Sight and Sound” zijn wij in groepjes de straat op gegaan met een blinddoek en […]

  2. […] mijn klasgenootjes Aukje, Nona en Cayan  door het centrum van Rotterdam gelopen. We hadden de opdracht  gekregen om vanaf de Willemsbrug via het Dudok Cafe naar het Centraal Station te lopen. […]

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