The first part of Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe’s presentation was concluded with a group exercise on sensory mapping through smellscapes.
She offered a variety of scents to the participants, from environment to consumption goods (dirt, fresh grass, dust, pipe tobacco, rye bread). The task was not to guess the smell, but to discuss and define with a partner what memories or narratives of space are unleashed, what moments the respective scent took the participants back to.
This experiment showed that olfactory experiences are based on social and cultural experience, and have an underestimated potential to define space and memory as part of mapping. Scents open whole universes of meaning and memory and therefore lend a richness to mapping space – a thickness of description, which visually focused mapping alone does not convey.