Making Workshop. Artefact Blogs Collection


Nicola Spurling (Department of Sociology, Lancaster University), Jyoti Kapur (Swedish School of Textiles, Borås)


What if we are confronted with unfamiliar smellscapes in our homes, neighbourhoods, workplaces and cities?

Given the cultural conditioning of the senses, the smellscapes of everyday life (in homes, neighbourhoods, workplaces and cities) play an important part ineveryday experiences, emotions and encounters. Increased global mobility and climate change mean that unfamiliar smells are met more frequently, integrating with and altering the taken-for-granted smellscapes of our lives.

How do people of different cultures negotiate unfamiliar smells in a variety of settings? What emotions do scents ‘in and out of place’ evoke? What memories, knowledge and moral judgements are used to understand smells? What vocabulary is used to describe these experiences?

Everyday materialities are visible and invisible. Our visible research artefact (the charm bracelet) produces invisible research artefacts (the smells). Controlled remotely by an app, the smells enter different spaces and social contexts, at different times, for different durations. The object’s mobility is integral to the question which it poses.

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