What do history, triumph and excitement smell of? Experience designer and urban smell alchemist Kate McLean brews science, memories and technology to find out.Horsehair from prayer cushions, the ancient wood from a pilgrims' hotel overlooking a thousand-year-old cathedral, frankincense candles and the spine and pages from prayer books. These are the ingredients experience designer Kate McLean used to recreate the smell of the history in Canterbury. "Captured" in pharmacy containers, the aroma was then "released" via classic perfume bottles and hidden, ultra-sonic cold-air diffusers as part of the exhibition Two Canterbury Smells: Literal (Strawberries) and Lyrical (History) held at The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in the summer of 2014 â the researcher's twelfth major participatory art project that involved manipulating a notoriously difficult to record sense.A PhD Candidate in Information Experience Design (IED) at the Royal College of Art and Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kate McLean has already collected, created, mapped and exhibited the smells of various cities in her bold attempt to change the emphasis from "eyes first to nose first". Paris, Amsterdam, New York and Pamplona are just a few of the places whose odours she mapped and then "removed" from their geographical location for people from all over the world to enjoy and share â a process that to me sounds like pure wizardry. "Smell possesses the capacity to induce time-travel and momentary location-displacement, translating anonymous space into personalised place. It mentally relocates sniffers from the physical world to another very personal and internal one" she believes. Investigating how smell can be used to generate memories of a specific place, she is part of a small but growing number of innovative practitioners committed to the study and capture of "this highly nuanced sensory field". It's a sunny January morning when we decide to meet at The Royal College of Art. She's just come back from a snowboarding holiday in the French Alps that she's very excited about. "Snow is my idea of heaven", she tells me. Slim, blue eyed, wearing jeans an oversized jumper, pale green scarf and matching beanie, smiling all around she harbours the air of someone who's not afraid to engage with the unknown.No wonder when I find out that four years ago while studying for her MFA in Graphic Design at the Edinburgh College of Art she announced her Final Major Project would be a smell map. She had a trip to Paris planned so the project would be a smell map of the French capital. With no prior knowledge of chemistry or perfumery she set herself to re-create the fourteen most recognisable smells of the city: coffee, cheese, oil paints, flowers, perfume, steak, Gauloise cigarettes, bread, the infamous drains, urine, rain, parquet, musty cellars and wine. "I am not afraid of trying new things" she tells me when I ask how she went about recreating all those smells without any previous training.Relying only on found ingredients and hacking parfumery techniques â to recreate the smell of baguette she baked bread for a week, opened it out and placed a strip of black velvet inside â "if you ever go to a club wearing black velvet you would come out smelling like nightclub" she warns me; the smell of blue cheese was produced by letting the smelliest cheese she could find to ferment in olive oil â she generated the smells and housed them in antique perfume and aromatherapy bottles and glass jars. A new way of exploring and engaging with the environment around us, her practice sits at the intersection of participatory art, experience design, scientific research and play. It starts with a "smell walk" around the city she wants to map where she and other "smell hunters" actively look for things to sniff. As they walk they stop to inhale different aromas and then log down their impressions (currently in notebooks, but soon through a smell map app that is under way): what did the odour remind them of? What memories or mental images did it trigger? They walk some more, stop again and so on until they have a full picture of the city. After that the data is collected, analysed, summarised (using data visualisation) and presented to people around the world as beautiful, interactive cartography (some maps feature motion graphics) and bottled scents.The bottles and jars containing the fourteen smells of Paris were left deliberately unlabelled and then placed on small shelves on a hand-drawn map of the city at the Edinburgh College of Art where the work was displayed for a week during October 2010. Entitled Paris Smell Map Virtual DÃ©rive, the exhibition invited the visitors to: smell a scent from any of the bottles, recall what it reminded them of, write the place and/or feeling associated with the smell, and stick their notes on the board near to the bottle of scent. Based on the impressions on the notes McLean remarked that different smells triggered different narrative patterns and recollections: the smell of coffee made people tell a story while perfume encouraged them to mention other people. Wine was most likely to make people recall an event.Scientifically, the reason why smell triggers forgotten memories has a straightforward explanation: the olfactory bulb, where the sense of smell is located, processes the signal and then passes information about the scent to the area that is situated closest, namely, the limbic system â a brain structure that is regarded by scientists as a major role player in controlling mood, memory, behaviour and emotion. Within the limbic system sits the hippocampus an organ responsible with helping us create new memories and remember experiences."But why do we mostly remember childhood memories when we sniff something?" I ask. "According to Porteous' literary analyses of smell mentions in autobiographies (J. Douglas Porteous geographer and author who coined the term "smellscape") we make most of our memories between the age of eight and fourteen" she says. "This may account for why smell usually triggers childhood memories."In the same vein, McLean's connection with cartography is emotional and stems from her childhood. Originally from Hartfield in East Sussex she has lived all around the world from the Bahamas to Whitstable via North Wales, Boston, Paris, Manchester, and Edinburgh. As a child she would help her dad plan the family camping holidays, which she had chosen over staying in hotels. With some "huge maps of France" (France would be their usual destination) laid down on the floor ahead of them, they would imagine which routes they should take, what would be the best places to stop, the most exciting walking trails to do. Ever since maps have been a constant feature in her life.By turns academic researcher, artist, and urban explorer McLean's current work is concerned with representing urban smellscapes and investigating their ephemerality. Her ultimate goal is to encourage us to experience and engage with our environment focusing on our olfactory sense in a quest to uncover the small, the curious and the unexpected odours of our cities. To ask for a map is to say, "Tell me a story", says author Peter Turchi in his book, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. Ingeniously fusing a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines with design and artistic practices McLean's work is essentially another storytelling tool. One that allows you to re-experience your city's personal story by engaging a rather overlooked, yet surprisingly powerful sense: smell. The stories she tells are not written in books, they are "captured" in jars.Kate McLean wo not tell you a story, but she may offer to smell you one.Written by Catalina Bolozan for Bold Ideas, an editorial project by the design studio 1984 London. Photography by SofÃa Villanueva and Kate McLeang you can try to do is when you put the card into the card reader for the computer note what drive letter it comes up as, then just close the auto-run stuff. Open up your My Computer, right click on the drive, if there is an option for Check for Errors (or something like that) then do it, other wise check under the properties to see if there is anything like checking for errors... If that does not work, do a google search for Memory Card Recovery. 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