Metaphoricity in the real estate showroom : affordance spaces for sensorimotor shopping

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-60
Journal / PublicationMetaphor and Symbol
Issue number1
Online published2 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


This article adopts an ecological view of cognition to analyze the role of the environment in scaffolding metaphorical experience. Using ethnographic material collected from two real estate showrooms in China, we describe how each showroom setting is equipped with to-be-phenomenologically-experienced objects designed to stimulate desirable sensorimotor experiences and altered bodily states during the guided showroom tours. By analyzing the qualities of such settings and identifying the processes through which visitors become environmentally coupled—including active and passive touch in highly organized auditory, olfactory, and gustatory environs—we demonstrate how the showrooms constitute an affordance space for enacting metaphoricity through doubleness in experience. Implications for conceptual metaphor theory relating to the nature of environments and bodies are discussed.