Symposium 09

Olfaction and the City

15-16 May 2009
University of Vienna
(Campus, Aula, court 1.11, Spitalgasse 2–4, 1090 Vienna)

» Programm/Plakat

The symposium is dedicated to the perception of the city, conceived as a space of volatile flows. Whereas modern urbanism has focussed on the elimination of offensive smells, the increasing competition among cities nowadays rather raises the opposite question: may odours be used as a positive factor to increase the attractiveness of cities and to strengthen their identity? In particular, how may the evocative power of smells and the emotions triggered by odours enhance the residents' identification with their city and contribute to their sense of emplacement? What does the »flair« of a city, as an aesthetic quality, consist of? How can urban smellscapes and microclimates be analysed, described and assessed? The ideal urban space has mostly been defined in terms of visual clarity, distinctiveness and legibility; do the same criteria remain valid for the urban atmospheres? How can divergences between olfactory cultures, values and practices be converted into opportunities in multicultural metropolitan areas? And last, but not least, how real is the danger of the atrophy of olfaction in contemporary city cultures?

The answers to these questions are searched for in a dialogue between scholars from the human sciences and the natural sciences. They are invited to address issues ranging from the hedonics and semantics of odours, over the »odour imagery« and the mental representation of smells to the verbalisation and visualisation of odours in urban space.

Friday, 15 May 2009

09.00-09.30  Opening
Elisabeth Nemeth, Head of the Department of Philosophy
Walter Jäger, Head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics
Mădălina Diaconu, Project manager of »Haptic and Olfactory Design«
09.30-10.20  Thomas Hummel (Dresden)
Smell and Taste
10.30-11.20  Matthias Laska (Linköping)
The Human Sense of Smell: Our Noses Are Better than We Think!
11.30-12.20  Gerhard Buchbauer (Vienna)
Analysis of Flavours and Fragrances. An Overview
14.00-14.30  Coffee
14.30-15.20  Regina Bendix (Göttingen)
Sense, Scent and (Urban) Sensibility
15.30-16.20  Susan Benn (London) & Kerstin Mey (Ulster)
Olfact - Towards a Pedagogy of Curiosity
16.30-17.20  Mădălina Diaconu (Vienna)
Mapping Urban Smellscapes

Saturday, 16 May 2009

09.00-09.30  Coffee
09.30-10.20  Sandra T. Weber & Eva Heuberger (Vienna)
Smell and Be Well. Influence of Ambient Odors on Basic Emotions and Affect
10.30-11.20  Catherine Rouby (Lyon)
Mental Representations of Odors. Evidences from Semantic Categorization,
Odor Imaging and Transcultural Studies
11.30-12.20  Klaus Dürrschmid (Vienna)
Multimodal Sensory Perception and the Use of Statistics
in Describing Complex Sensory Objects like Food Products or Cities
14.00-14.30  Coffee
14.30-15.20  Jim Drobnick (Toronto)
Brash Scents, Big City
15.30-16.20  Sissel Tolaas (Berlin)
SMELL = information. A toll of communication and navigation
16.30-17.20  Panel discussion