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Arduino | Adobe After Effect | Photoshop

07/10/2021 - 11/12/2021

Individual project

Awakening: Scent Archive - Practice

The Scent Interaction Design Approach in Practice

Four effective design approaches were created to address the limitations of odour-evoked memory in the interaction design context. I took these design methods as a guide to create each part of the project to achieve the design purpose.

Art direction - Yuqing Liu

Interaction Design - Yuqing Liu

Photography- Yuqing Liu

Problem 1: The individuality and unpredictability of odour memory

Exploration and Solution I

As an interaction designer, I cannot predict the audience's personal memories of scents. In my project, I externalized my scent memories for others and encouraged them to consider the interesting ways in which the smells trigger memories.


Experiential Design

The isolation of the audience's members' heads from the outside world creates an intimate space for them to experience scent memories. At the same time, it also addresses the spatial requirements of the project. Scents, sounds, and scenes in five small spaces can work simultaneously, without interfering with each other.


Exploration and Solutions II

Designers can provide a platform for the audience to share emotions and memories during the experience of scent. Some audiences have similar memories and feelings about a certain scent, and this form of interaction allows them to communicate and thus explore more about scent memory. 


Experiential Design

The Scent Archive offers the audience more scents and invites them to reflect on what the scents evoke in their memory. I also invited participants to contribute their memories by writing them down. In this way, the audience can see what memories were triggered by each scent for previous audience members.


Exploration and Solutions III

By inviting the audience to tell their own stories using scents, they can create individual combinations of scents based on their memories. Scent combinations can recreate situations in people's memories and this personalized combinations of scents can return people to a specific moment in time.


Experiential Design

During the exhibition, I invited 17 audiences to members in my scent workshop. They created unique scent combinations based on their personal memories. Their works were even more compelling as many audiences were captivated by the memories of the scents they made.


Problem 2: The weak recognition of odours

When I did the audience test, I found that some participants experienced olfactory dysfunction due to having been infected with COVID-19. As a result, when they were experiencing odours, they had difficulty identifying when they smelled something.

Solution - Vision, Sound and Narrative story

People remember and feel smells differently. In the Scent Box section, to allow the audience to experience a memory image of a particular combination of smells that I have, I needed to incorporate narrative storytelling, ambient sounds, and visual design to help them understand the feeling of this scent in my experience.


Ambient sound is an objective presence that is less influenced by the subjectivity of the individual, and which moderates the subjective differences in odour memory. The semantic processing helps me to better recreate the memory scenes triggered by the smell and to present these feelings more accurately to the audience.


To achieve this, I designed the interior space of the box to accommodate all the features needed for the scent memory experience. I needed to combine each box with an MP3 trigger, a fan, and an Arduino sensor. I placed distance sensors on top of each box to trigger the interaction.

Scent Memory Box Experience Video

Summer Morning.JPG
Leisurely Afternoon.jpg



Smell Memory

of Summer Morning

Smell Memory of

Leisurely Afternoon

Seaside Time.JPG


Smell Memory

of Seaside Time



Smell Memory

of Homesickness



Smell Memory of

The Pandemic Period

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