The School of MAD Research Seminars resume in 2019 on 20 February, with Kate McLean presenting her research on the intersection of smell and landscapes from around the world.
Dr Robert McPherson will be delivering a paper on his Chicago-School-style research into the night-time economy.
Graphic Design lecturer Kate McLean is showing one of her smellscapes at National Library of Scotland.
The smellscape of our world is in constant flux as smells come and go, meandering amongst architectures, vehicles and nature, between people and their everyday routines, indexing rhythms, life and activity. The invisibility of smell, both as a physical entity and as a social construct in the prevailing sensory order has led scholars to call for further study in how the urban smellscape may be detected, recorded, stored and communicated. The Sensory Maps project http://sensorymaps.com uses design methodologies to render visible geo-located olfactory sense-data through creative mapping practices and one work; “Smells of Auld Reekie on a very breezy day in 2011” by Kate McLean is on display at National Library of Scotland’s You Are Here: A journey through maps exhibition in Edinburgh from now until April 2017.
You Are Here challenges what we know about maps, how they are made and how we understand them. It shows the skills of the map makers and the aesthetics and usefulness of maps.
See http://www.nls.uk/exhibitions/maps for further details.
Kate McLean is a sensory designer, cartographer, photographer and smell collector. Educated in the UK and USA she has a BA (Hons) in Related Arts from the University of Chichester and a diploma in Graphic Design from NESADSU in Boston, USA. Her MFA (with distinction) is from Edinburgh College of Art. As Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design she specialises in typography and information design.
Project by: Kate McLean
Kate McLean is a graphic designer who brings to her work and discipline a deep awareness of the environment by highlighting the multi-sensory nature of human understanding. While the visual tends to dominate graphic design, no single sense operates in isolation. McLean believes that design can – and should – be multimodal, incorporating each of the five senses we possess.
Smells form part of our knowing, but are elusive, disappearing before they can be fixed in place. By focusing on olfactory perception, McLean joins a small but growing number of innovative practitioners committed to the study and capture of this highly nuanced, highly personal sensory field.
The tools of her trade are simple and effective. Walking through the cities of Europe and North America with a notepad in hand, McLean is led first and foremost by her nose and by a strong desire to discover what makes the places she travels distinct. This process is always collaborative, formed by the observations of local participants and by the relationships that arise from these encounters.
On Thursday, April 10, 2014, from 18:30 to 21:30, Smellmap: Amsterdam, an exhibition of McLean’s olfactory exploration of the city, performed in collaboration with Bernardo Fleming of International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), was on show at Mediamatic, Amsterdam. Presenting the extent of her working process, the display included maps, motion graphics, research notes and sketchbooks, plus a selection of collected smells for visitors to sample.
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