material futures, soft technologies, health & wellbeing, system design

Smell Memory Tools

Essi Johanna Glomb
MA Graduation Project
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Dr. Knut Ebeling

Cooperation Partner:
Fraunhofer IAP Potsdam Knitwearlab Amsterdam

We all experience longing for another. It seems like technology has narrowed the gaps between us, but has it really cured the disease of distance?

Smell Memory Tools is a design research project on the role of olfaction in long distance relationships.  The Smell Memory Toolbox – a wooden box equipped with tiny glasses of different abstract scents – is the basis for an analogue ritual. A couple can create a scent together which becomes their shared smell memory. The ritual continues with the assignment to translate the scent into drawings with an abstract shape and color – a method used by smell psychologists. Both drawings are now turned into two knitted blankets which are impregnated with the beforehand micro-encapsulated scent. If the textile is touched it releases the scent and evokes a sensual olfactory memory of the other person.