One of our PhD-students, Anette Stenslund, is currently visiting researcher at the Centre for Sensory Studies, Concordia University, Montreal.
Under the heading “Ambient plasticity: aesthetics of the hospital”, she investigates everyday aesthetics and is currently exploring the atmosphere of the hospital by emphasizing smell impressions:
To most people, the hospital smell is unpleasant and uncomfortable: Why is that? How does it smell and how do smell experiences take effect when entering this functional environment loaded with gravity? It seems that the smell of the hospital has turned into a myth: Why is it so? The work suggests a multi-sensuous approach for perceiving phenomena like this. There is more to smell experiences than pure smell as they are e.g. ‘coloured’ by moods, sensations and a being-in-the-world in time and space. As follows, the vapours of the hospital deserve further cultural investigation.
The epistemological challenge dealing with smell (a phenomenon hard to grasp in words) requires a phenomenological sensitive aesthetical approach. This is accomplished through cross readings of phenomenological thinkers comprising philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and cultural geographers respectively.