The scent of Sydney (installation)

As part of UTS Master of Design course, we got involved with TEDxSydney. All the master students were to come up with some way to entertain the guests, get them involved or to simply make the whole TEDx experience a little TEDxy. After weeks of meetings, ideas, agreements and disagreements — we (well, Professor Lawrence) realised that the best thing for us to do was to create something on our own. He was right.

Took us a while to come up with the concept, which in the end was to create “the scent of Sydney”. Don’t even ask how we came up with the scent, but it smelled decent, people liked it and some were even excited enough to spray it around the house, when they go back to London.

Since we took over the 2 hallways (and everyone else took a large food auditorium), we wanted to show two sides of Sydney. One would smell nice, it would be bottled and given away for free. Hours of experimentation and numerous formulas, we eventually managed to come up with something we all liked.

The second hallway on the other hand, was to show the other side of Sydney. The idea was to recreate the scent you get when it’s bushfire season. The idea of starting an actual fire in the hallway did cross our minds, but in the end we agreed to burn some wood outside and use a bottled scent of burned wood (yes, there is such thing) to make it a little more noticeable.

Installation was exciting. Lets just say that most of the ideas came to us when we were putting it all together.

This is kind of what it looked like. Just imagine hundreds of people around you, half are spraying the bottled scent all over themselves, and the other are walking through the dark corridor, hitting their heads on the wooden planks. The project was a success. And as a bonus, we got to watch TED, meet some more or less interesting people, get praised for our excellent work and take home a few bottles of this stuff, that I personally used as a toilet spray for quite a while.

More from the night (and prior).