Smell is Information, Purpose, Communication: workshop with Sissel Tolaas

Image of Sissel Tolass’ studio lab, from the Sight Unseen article, Sissel Tolaas, Scent Expert by Monica Khemsurov. Image source:


WhiteFeather participated in a workshop with Sissel Tolaas, hosted by Hexagram-Concordia, on working with smell molecules.

Smell is Information, Purpose, Communication

Workshop with Sissel Tolaas
Friday, January 31, 2014
2 – 4pm

In this two hour workshop, each participant will be provided with a set of abstract smell molecules to define. Through using the molecules and a created dictionary/archive of smells, each participant will compose smells that convey certain content.

Located at the Hexagram Resource Centre, Concordia University, 1515 Saint Catherine St. W., Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex, Room 11.705,
Montreal, QC


Sissel Tolaas was born Norway and is based in Berlin. She studied mathematics, linguistics, chemical science, languages, and visual art at Oslo, Warsaw, Moscow, St Petersburg and Oxford universities. Tolaas has been working actively in the area topic of Smell /Smell and Language Communications 1990, within different sciences, fields of art and design, and other disciplines. She established the SMELL RE_searchLab Berlin, on smell & communication / language, in Berlin in January 2004, supported by IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.).

Tolaas’s research has won recognition through numerous national and international scholarships, honours, and prizes. She is a founding member of the International Sleep Science and Technology Association, China/US/Africa/Europe. Tolaas also recently founded the FUTURE OF EDUCATION, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Future Education Platform Berlin. Tolaas has done City SmellScape research in several cities such as Paris, Stockholm, Detroit, Kansas City, Berlin, Oslo and London, and is currently working on Nuuk, Istanbul, Calcutta, and Cape Town. She was recently commissioned, together with Harvard GSD, to develop new a Concept of Living in Kuwait.

More information about Sissel Tolaas’ work here.

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