IDEAS WORTH SPREADING

by designspace | 17.02.14

“Change to live and live for change. This is the essence of the theme of our next event: perpetual (r)evolution. The world we live in is constantly evolving, causing us to continually reinvent ourselves and the ways we interact with what’s around us, keeping ourselves fresh, engaged and dynamic.”

Israeli Designer, Omer Polak, expressed many of his thoughts and concerns relating to his current project, during his speaking opportunity with TED, only a few days ago. TED is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1984, devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. These conferences bring the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers together, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives, in 18 minutes or less.

Omer Polak graduated from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem 2013 and took the opportunity to study abroad, as part of an exchange program, in Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands. After his studies, Omer Polak began his project at the Weizman Institute of Science, operating with the technology, Scent-2-you LTD.

Omer Polak’s project originally began as a personal interest in odors and their relation to the world. He wanted to experience the world through sense of smells as well as the lack of them. As Omer Polak explained, in his TED talk, we, in the Western world, use synthetic scents to attract a potential partner, while Korubu tribes, living in wild, use natural smells to detect a match. Eventually his interest developed into a research project, investigating the world and daily life of an individual who suffers from anosmia, the inability to perceive odor, and the desire to make a change.

Omer, first, practiced identifying his own smell through designated masks, using synthetic smells he had recorded in primitive way and scattering them around artificially. After thorough research and experimentation, he was able to create instruments that hold the ability to learn certain odors and in return send notifications when certain smells are identified.

In collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science, Omer had access to the technology of “scent-2-you”. This technology uses bio-feedback, as a learning technique, which pairs scents, sounds and images with two additional objects that implicate the potential uses embedded in scents.

To hear Omer Polak’s Talk, visit TED – it’s coming up soon…

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learning smells device

Odor learning device

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Designer Omer Polak

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Self olfactory experience

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Self portrait with white odor mask

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