Towards Multisensory Architecture--an Exploration of the Sense of Smell

While the experience of architecture is dominated by the visual and tactile sense, the sense of smell—which has a powerful intrinsic effect on perception and phenomena—is largely ignored. Smells are everywhere around us. They affect our mood, perception, localisation, they are part of our everyday life, of sex, food, nature, industry, of others and ourselves. They follow us, intrigue us, bring back memories, seduce us, manipulate us.

My thesis is an exploration of scent within architecture. It investigates the various qualities and conditions that can be induced through scent. This thesis argues for the significance of scent within architecture by posing the question: How can scent evoke memories, familiarities or reactions to generate personal connections to architecture and how could it be used by designers and architects to improve mental wellbeing of human?

I will create a smell experience on Fallowfield Loop to response it. I proposed a system with 3 levels on Fallowfield Loop – the first is scents making which explores the possibility of using smell to represent a place. The second are scents stations which provide people the opportunities to interact with smell by exploring various deployments of scent to create an olfactory architecture and landscape with varying materials and conditions. The third is a smellarium which is a development from Scents stations, adopting a poetic approach which encourages subjectivity through an undefined experience. It’s a design vehicle to explore the subjective nature and evocation of emotions and memories elicited by scent and architecture. It seeks to provide a multitude of irreplaceable experiences, special to each individual.  These propositions provide people opportunities to explore smell individually, emotionally, recreationally, therapeutically and more.