In this chapter, we reflect on the practice of aroma management in spaces where people interact, such as workplaces and other institutional settings, considering how issues of control and power may arise – inadvertently or deliberately – within smell practices. The ‘smellscape’ is an increasingly important part of organizations’ physical and cultural design, underpinned by debates in architectural design (Pallasmaa, 2005), marketing and sensory branding (Brumfield & Gouldney, 2008) and the natural sciences (Barker et al., 2003). Through reflecting on a range of recent smell practices predominantly apparent in retail spaces and service sector environments, we argue that the biologically deterministic assumptions upon which these developments are premised – namely, that smell subliminally and predictably ‘short-circuits’ the brain to influence behavior – silences considerations of power and ethics surrounding hierarchy, control and individual sovereignty. We highlight the role these issues play in the interpretation of organizational olfactory experiences. Our intention is therefore to sensitize designers to the lived experience of smell through an alternative reading of a socio-cultural phenomenon. As such, smell cannot be taken as independent of either professional or occupational norms or the employee bodies that experience, negotiate and themselves contribute to organizational smellscapes.
|Title of host publication||Designing with Smell|
|Subtitle of host publication||Practices, Techniques and Challenges|
|Editors||Victoria Henshaw, Kate McLean, Dominic Medway, Chris Perkins, Gary Warnaby|
|Place of Publication||New York NY USA|
|Number of pages||8|
|ISBN (Print)||9781138955530, 9781138955547|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Feb 2018|