As humans, we breathe 86,400 times a day; in fact the human nose never stops smelling. And each time we inhale, we ingest essential information about our environment, including the people and things in it, affecting our emotional and memorial perception on an intrinsic level. Yet, since the rise of scientific understanding with the Enlightenment, we have actively lost the vocabulary to articulate the subtlety of smell’s meaning. Our lack of cultural awareness has left us as a society numb to the felt affect of scent and the largely untapped communicative power of the medium of smell in design. “Design Smells” presents why we should all care about smell, the limitations of the smell dialogue today, and how the conceptual vocabulary of a small community of practitioners is helping to shape future conversations around this essential part of our human experience. As smell-enabled bodies, we are all poised to be active critics of smell, and through this, of the embodied experience of design at large.
The School of Visual Arts MFA Design Criticism Department presented “Crossing the Line: The 2010 D-Crit Conference" organized by graduating D-Crit students at the SVA Theatre in New York City on Friday, April 30 2010.