Urban smell enthusiasts
Apologies dear blog world for the long break since my last blog in November, it has been a busy few months, not least of all as I have been writing my book ‘Urban Smellscapes: Understanding and Designing City Smell Environments’ due to be published by Routledge in the late summer. Writing the book was an exhausting, demanding and occasionally emotional experience, but also very satisfying as it brings together the main findings of my work from the past five years. For more information on the book content, click here.
I am also absolutely delighted, not to mention honoured, to have gained approvals to include artwork and images from some very talented smell aficionados out there, and of some fascinating examples of the use and control of smell in the city … more of that to follow in the next few months as we get closer to publication.
I have also spent a month in France, working with the French research centre ‘Cresson’ at the Graduate School of Architecture, Grenoble which was an absolutely fantastic experience and I finally got to meet the wonderful French architect and academic Suzel Balez, who’s work on smell has been a wonderful inspiration for me. Although the majority of Suzel’s work has been written only in French, her doctorate thesis (completed back in 2001) is stored away in the Cresson library, and I managed to draw from and reference her work, in some of my final chapters. At the end of the four weeks I presented my work to the research team IN FRENCH… gulp!
And sticking with the book theme, I’m now back in Manchester and staging a Sensory Architectures book open day this coming Wednesday 20th February 2013, at the Manchester Architecture Research Centre, University of Manchester, where I will be displaying my entire book collection, alongside some of my perfume/scent collection and including the famous Caveman Smell (otherwise termed ‘Androstenone’. (For more scientific details of perceptions of this fascinating smell see this recent paper on olfactory demography by Keller et al. 2012). The Open Book Day will run from 10.30am – 5pm and is open to students, academics and anyone with an interest in the senses who would like to drop in and try the same and read through the books. Further details are available on the event poster here and for a map of the University of Manchester.