Blind Smell Stick – Emotional Urban Nose

Blind Smell Stick - Emotional Urban Nose

Exploring the urban space with the nose: the work “Blind Smell Stick” by Peter de Cupere invites us to rediscover the familiar spaces in which we live. The object created looks like an ordinary walking stick but functions like the nose of a guide dog for the blind. The lower part of the stick is able to pick up odours through little holes. Once captured, the odorous particles travel within the stick thanks to mini-fans, filters and a special heating system. Finally, they are channelled into a “special tube” connected to the nose through a mask. The user can choose whether to wear the mask or not, depending on what kind of sensory exclusivity is desired. In addition to being a useful tool for the blind, this item allows users to experience the olfactory version of our daily movements. We know that smell receptors are connected to the limbic system, the same place that processes emotions and memory. Perhaps coming to appreciate the olfactory version of our environment means becoming connected with ancestral fragrances. Spoiled by the abuse of the many stimuli around us, our senses may benefit from this type of perceptual immediacy that can jolt our emotivity and make us more aware of our feelings.

Chiara Ciociola