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On October 13, 2015, I gave a presentation to the Smell Lab, a community organization organized out of the Spektrum art space in my neighbourhood of Neukölln. It was a great opportunity to dust of some of my chemistry notes from some of my past projects in flavours and fragrance sciences and it fostered a really great discussion around the science of smell and air.

If you’re interested in seeing the presentation, the slides are available here:

The Science of Smell (3MB PDF)

As an important side-note, if you do have any questions about smell, feel free to leave a comment or send a message. The Smell Lab will be organizing more events as well as monthly meetings and a reading group. Check us out here: Smell Lab

(Photos courtesy of Chaveli Sifre and the Smell Lab)

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Smellmapping

Just sifting through my emails I happened across this gem. Designer Kate McLean has put together a set of images maps that attempt to visualize the variety of different sensory-scapes we pass through in urban space. Her maps, which summarize sensory experiences are visually interesting and thought-provoking.

The question that I always find myself asking is, should we be expressing other senses through the sense of sight? Maps (and, for the most part, digitally-produced designs) are visual in nature. The conversion of senses from the variety of senses into vision is likely to have some cost of interpretation. However, if the same emotional response to the sense can be translated adequately into the visual, perhaps it would be more ‘true’ to the experience? McLean somewhat admits to this with her Manchester Smellwalk maps – admitting the fact that you need to go to the site to have the true experience.

Still, there could be a ‘map’ of sorts that visualizes the tactile experience of urban spaces. Taking an open floorspace, different materials can be placed covering the ground in a spatially accurate manner, that give people the ability to ‘scan’ an environment with their feet. A smell map could consist of a grid of beakers with compounds in each, all oriented in a spatially accurate manner, so that a person could ‘scan’ the space with their nose. Ideas!

Link: http://www.sensorymaps.com/maps_cities/newport_smell.html