Designing the Atmosphere

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Publication date
26.06.2019
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06 - Presentation
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13
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UC Davis, California
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Abstract
Our paradise is on fire. Heaven is not the promised land anymore. Smog in mega cities, pollution in industrialized areas, and holes in the ozone layer change the physical and culturally informed perception of the sky surrounding us. Defining that breathable space as smellscape (Claasen, 1994) turns the unidentified air into a matter of evidence (Jacques Derrida). With “the invention of atmosphere” (Willebrord Snellius, 1580-1626) came the desire to design and alter the ephemeral yet breathable space that surrounds us. In the past artists and designers imagined dystopias, such as Margaret Atwood’s climate-controlled domes (MaddAddam, 2013), or utopias, such as Yves Klein and Werner Ruhnau’s who attempted to shield a whole town (Immatrial City, 1957/1959). A new generation of contemporary designers and architects work on altering our smell-able atmosphere for real. My paper discuses projects by designers that are based on the idea of air as a matter of evidence for climate change and aim to offer alternative atmospheres and smellscapes. I am arguing for the term smellscape architects. Smellscape architects are designers who work not only as experience engineers (Alva Noe, 2014), engineers who alter situational experiences of individuals. This new generation of architects work on changing the collapsing atmosphere of a man-made Anthropocene sustainably. Examples include London-based designer Michael Pinsky. His Pollution Pod (since 2017) documents a smellscape status quo. He offers his audience pollution cocktail from cities around the world. German start up Green City Solutions works on moss walls in urban areas (2018). Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde designed a Smog Free Tower (since 2015) he proudly refers to as the largest air purifier in the world. Currently Daan Roosegaarde is working on pollution killing bikes (2017).
Keywords
Smellscapes, Michael Pinsky, Daan Roosegaarde, Yves Klein
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ASLE Thirteenth Biennial Conference
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English
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Yes
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Published
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Citation
KING, Dorothée, 2019. Designing the Atmosphere. ASLE Thirteenth Biennial Conference. UC Davis, California. 26 Juni 2019. Verfügbar unter: https://irf.fhnw.ch/handle/11654/30775