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Scent As A Form Of Design.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on March 23, 2010

What happens when you ask famous architects, product designers and chefs to design scents? A symposium called Headspace. MOMA and Parsons School for Design have joined to put on a conference this Friday, March 26, after getting top “designers” to do just that. The IFF (the big fragrance and flavors makers), Coty and Seed Magazine (one of my new favorites) are collaborating in the venture.

The symposium is being held at The New School from 10-5:30PM, Tishman Auditorium 66 West 12th Street, off 6th Avenue”>

Scent is a new frontier of design and this all-day symposium will show you why. We all know the power of scent, but somehow it is rarely acknowledged in the marketplace (except for perfume) or in design theory. In fact, Americans are told every day to lead scent-free lives. What a waste. Scent is powerful and primitive—it hits us in our limbic systems before we have time to think about it.

Five different design groups were commissioned to devise a scent. Just a warning here—a scent is not a perfume. They will all gather this Friday. A documentary film by Jane Nisselson will be released on March 26 as well.

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Reader Comments

Kristina Goodrich

March 24, 2010 10:18 PM

You may want to visit the Facebook page of Redefining Dining! ( where you will find SENSE! by Katrien Ploegmakers honored. It is a design intended to enhance appreciation of food through senses other than the visual, playing particularly on scent.


March 25, 2010 04:07 PM

Dr Alan Hirsch has done interesting work here -- leading pioneers are casinos. Have been for years.

Pity scent research using user testing is going to devolve to what an art school grad fancies cool now.

Don't forget information scent. Architects fancy stripping user cues in the pursuit of art there too.

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