The Library of Smell
The focus of the multi-sensory exhibition The Library of Smell by Japanese artist Hisako Inoue is the smell of antiquarian books. The olfactory exploration of the book, detached from visual or content-related values, seems unusual, as the printed book, being a medium of valuable content, is closely linked to its design. Visitors are invited to discover the exhibition by smelling, hearing, seeing and feeling. The lightness of odours (floating in the form of gases) was addressed typographically for the brochure that accompanied the exhibition, where words grow larger and smaller, become distorted and float around or form loops. We also employed ephemeral means in the exhibition graphics themselves. In addition to the classic exhibition signage, neon tubes with glowing titles guided visitors through the rooms. In one part of the exhibition, visitors were able to smell the individual synthetically produced components of the book scents stored in small bottles. We marked the vials with small labels and chemical drawings and complemented them with haptic signs. A special focus of the olfactory exhibition was the accessibility for blind and visually impaired people. A brochure in Braille with haptic spider web diagrams and room plans served to provide them with the necessary explanations and information in addition to the olfactory exhibits.
Year • 2017
Client • Museum Villa Stuck
Media • Exhibition graphics: brochure (DIN A4, 4 pages), accompanying booklet for the blind and visually impaired persons (DIN A4, 32 pages), network diagrams, showcase labelling, labels for vials, labelled fluorescent tubes, haptic signs