Welcome to smell world. Smell world, to me, exists in the space of an unremarked zone between the source of a smell and the human nose.
In this podcast, previously performed at the British Library in November 2017, I would like to introduce you to a physical space of the double invisible sense. Smell.
Quite literally we cannot see most smells, except of course those that are nestled within smoke or vapour visible in the air. And figuratively, since Aristotle said, “For it is not clear what sort of quality odour is, in the way it was clear what sort of quality sound or colour was…” smell perception was relegated to a lower order attracting less research and less attention.
However, the “sensory turn” of the 90s and 2000s saw smell evolve into a subject for study and witnessed its inclusion in many design-related practices. My own design-focus considers not only the source of the smell, but also the effects of heat, wind patterns and moisture on odours before they are ingested in a sniff into the human nose. This firmly places smell as an environmental encounter.
2017 – British Library, Boring Talks. Curated by James Ward