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How smell is a powerful tool in design and behavioral economics allowing for unique and serendipitous design interventions.

An Olfactory Biopolitics Nairobi

3D viewing room
Smell samples taken in Kenya
Coltrane McDowell
This project is part of Antenna

Working with alcohol distillers in the low-income settlement of Mathare and rose farmers who were affected by the global pandemic, together we produced fragrance tests for the precursor of a locally fabricated perfume.

This extended research project examined how the use of smell as a means of control or behavior modification comes under the notion of biopolitics. I produced a series of videos, they each act as documentation and a meditation on the potential use of smell and design in Kenya. While you may be unable to smell the outcomes of this project, the videos shed light on the world I lived in and worked in for the last few months.