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Eat the Data, Smell the Data

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Eat the Data, Smell the Data, slides from the workshop presented at Eyeo Festival 2014 with Tega Brain.

This workshop explores possibilities of presenting data as sensory experience. How can we work with data in ways that move beyond that of the visual? How can data or data combinations be physically represented, sensed, felt or tasted? How does the experience of data change how it is understood?
We will explore provocative and artistic ways to experience data by working through a number of exercises involving taste and fragrance. What non-visual aesthetic tactics and strategies can be used to develop a rapport between data and experience?

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Eat the Data, Smell the Data

  1. 1. Eat the data, smell the data. School for Poetic Computation - Eyeo 2014 Tega Brain @tegabrain Simona De Rosa @derosimona
  2. 2. Welcome
  3. 3. How do we experience outside of the visual and aural domain?
  4. 4. Can we design sensory data experiences?
  5. 5. How can data be made visceral ?
  6. 6. Data visceralizations as: ! representations of information that don’t rely solely and primarily on sight or sound, but on multiple senses including touch, smell, and even taste, working together to stimulate our feelings as well as our thoughts.
  7. 7. 1997 patent for precision fragrance dispenser apparatus Hans Laube 1959 smell-o-vision patent
  8. 8. What is odour?
  9. 9. Odour is: ! “odorants” are small, volatile molecules. They have diverse structures and somehow those different structures and their combinations are perceived as having different odours. ! It is estimated that humans can sense as many as 10,000 to 100,000 chemicals as having a distinct odour.
  10. 10. Odour is: ! all of these “odorants” are small, volatile molecules. However, they have diverse structures and somehow those different structures and their combinations are perceived as having different odours. ! It is estimated that humans can sense as many as 10,000 to 100,000 chemicals as having a distinct odour.
  11. 11. Olfactory perception: ! The olfactory pathway. Odorants are detected by olfactory sensory neurones in the olfactory epithelium. Signals generated in those neurones are relayed through the olfactory bulb to the olfactory cortex and then sent to other brain areas.
  12. 12. Kant, 1798 Smell + language: ! “All the senses have their own descriptive vocabularies, e.g. for sight, there is red, green, and yellow, and for taste there is sweet and sour, etc. But the sense of smell can have no descriptive vocabulary of its own. Rather, we borrow our adjectives from the other senses, so that it smells sour, or has a smell like roses or cloves or musk. They are all, however, terms drawn from other senses. Consequently, we cannot describe our sense of smell” ! !
  13. 13. Maniq: ! a language spoken by only 240– 300 people living in hunter gatherer societies in southern Thailand, identifies many more words for odour qualities and a deep appreciation for the world of olfaction.
  14. 14. Olfactory perception: ! context ! concentration ! combination ! cultural association ! history of exposure !
  15. 15. Smell exercise ! 1. identify the scent 2. describe it in 3 adjectives 3. how does it make you feel?
  16. 16. What is flavour?
  17. 17. We eat with our eyes, nose, ears and sense of touch.
  18. 18. What is taste? What is flavour? How do we taste?
  19. 19. Taste is: ! the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with the receptors of our taste buds. (btw — they are all in our mouth not just on our tongue) !
  20. 20. Taste is: ! the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with the receptors of our taste buds. (btw — they are all in our mouth not just on our tongue) ! Taste is restricted to five detectable qualities: sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness and umami.
  21. 21. Taste is: ! the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with the receptors of our taste buds. (btw — they are all in our mouth not just on our tongue) ! Taste is restricted to five detectable qualities: sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness and umami. ! ! Taste along with smell determines flavours. ! ! ! ! !
  22. 22. Taste is: ! the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with the receptors of our taste buds. (btw — they are all in our mouth not just on our tongue) ! Taste is restricted to five detectable qualities: sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness and umami. ! ! Taste along with smell determines flavours. ! ! Although many factors such as colours, texture, temperature and sound play an important role in food sensation, only 20% of a tasting experience comes from taste, that is from the taste buds and 80% comes from the smell of the aroma. ! ! ! ! !
  23. 23. So what does make a flavour ?
  24. 24. Is it the tongue or the nose that create the experience of flavour?
  25. 25. An aroma compound, also known as the odourant, the aroma fragrance or the flavour, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odour. ! This occurs when two conditions are met: firstly the compound needs to be volatile, so it can be transported to the olfactory system in the upper part of the nose. ! Secondly it needs to be in a sufficiently high concentration to be able to interact with one or more of the olfactory receptors. ! ! ! ! !
  26. 26. So can we measure flavour components in food?
  27. 27. We can determine a product's flavour profile through gas chromatography which is an analytical technique that separates and identifies the various components of the flavour. ! And because we are able to identify flavour components we now know that same flavour compounds can be found in multiple ingredients.
  28. 28. Let’s try it
  29. 29. Taste exercise ! 1. identify the flavour 2. describe it in 3 adjectives 3. how does is make you feel?
  30. 30. Smell and flavour are a repository of feeling and memory:
  31. 31. they can transport us instantaneously to the time and place we first experienced it, or experienced it most memorably.
  32. 32. Some examples
  33. 33. What the Frog’s Brain tells the Frog’s Nose, 2012 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! http://tegabrain.com/The-frogd-Nose
  34. 34. Data Cuisine ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! http://data-cuisine.net/
  35. 35. Is ma` Wurscht - corrupted sausages ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! http://taste-of-data.tumblr.com/

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