omer polak

self portrait with white odor

omer polak

source: highlike

Work: We are communicate through our sense of smell even if we are not aware of doing so. Our bodies release odors that attract potential mates and threaten rivals but still, Most of the time we are covered by a mask of odors, we use many substances that mask our natural wild smell Instead of being aware of the importance of our smells and our abilities.

S SENSE is a project that combines designing and neuroscience. The project introduces a research on the sense of smell and its uses. Many case studies in this field were gathered into a story of anosmic character, who’s never experienced the sense of smell before. First, she learn to smell with odor learning device that operates as biofeedback. Subsequently, she combines smells in her own world and amplifies them by designated jewelries in order to influence on social situations. Moreover, she studies her past by restoration of her memories through smells.
Photographer: omer polak
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source: omerpolak

I started the project as a personal research in odor. At the beginning I tried to experience the world through smells and without them, tried to learn my own smell through designated mask. I “Recorded” Smells in primitive ways and spread them artificially. Then I tried to neutralize my sense of smell by using blurring “White odor” as if I was an anosmic for one day. I created conceptual models for an instrument that would “increase odor”, and for an instrument that will allow you to smell danger/diseases
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source: the-opsis

“Change to live and live for change…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. The project called S SENSE combines designing and neuroscience. It introduces a research on the sense of smell and its uses. The sense of smell is vital in our everyday lives. It is a major component in our sense of taste and it has a wonderful ability to create memories and bring them to the forefront of our consciousness. it warns us against danger and affects our mood. It also has quite a bit of influence in our sexual attraction and coupling . The sense of smell can tell us quite a bit about ourselves.

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.