An Ode to Smell

One often overlooked quality of Singapore’s tropical climate is its ability to kick up, amplify and bring to the forefront a palette of daily smells. These smells, in turn, define our memories of both familiar and unfamiliar places.

An Ode to Smell is part of an ongoing research project that examines the tumultuous relationship Singapore shares with its weather, in particular, how heat, rain and humidity shape our environmental perception. It taps into a full-bodied and sensorial experience by prioritising the olfactory and placing emphasis on the scent memories we have of a space.

The group collected materials from eight locations across the island, extracting their scents through various mediums. Visitors are invited to find out about the scents by scanning the QR codes on the bottles and send postcards of selected scents to friends. The project speaks to the embedded subjectivity when negotiating an environment through smell, and the extent to which these personal experiences can be shared.

An Ode to Smell is a collaboration between Hyphen Architects, Brian Khoo Zonghan and Mary Ann Ng.

Hyphen is a Singapore based design practice, interested in surveying the post-human world through the contemplation of architecture, art, technology, history and critical theory. We often operate at the crossroads of many disciplines, dreaming up new realities guided by profound optimism.

Brian Khoo Zonghan graduated with a Master of Architecture degree from the National University of Singapore. He is currently an assistant architect at an architecture firm in Singapore, and is interested in the phenomenological influences of architecture, atmosphere and objects as the backdrop for subtle everyday interactions; a curiousity which extends into exhibition design, publications and ceramics.

Mary Ann Ng graduated with a Master of Architecture degree from the National University of Singapore. She is currently a research assistant at the National University of Singapore. Her interests stem from observations of the contemporary individual, their subsequent emergent lifestyles, online and offline social practices and new cognitive behaviours within the spatial context.

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