We live in a highly visual society ruled by data and probability, yet research shows that our chemical sense of smell can provide a renewed understanding of our bodies and nature. Through a multidisciplinary approach, design can interact with scientific data and research from the fields of biology, neuroscience, psychology and the visual arts, in order to speculate on future possibilities. By considering smell as a marker for medical information we encounter a different type of communicative exchange between us and our environment. Smell is intrinsically linked to our immune system and can be used as a tool to diagnose disease. In the age of biotechnology, studies are being conducted into the olfactory capabilities of insects. Considering these as biological sensors, they can serve as translators between the chemical information our bodies secrete and our understanding of it. What are the design implications of this chemical relationship with our environment in the context of healthcare?
Susana Camara Leret
Photo by Vincent van Gurp