Impact! Exhibition: “Does It Smell Like Fair Trade?” images & video clips

The Impact! Exhibition catalogue (see previous post) included the following description of Nicolas Myers’ design – “Does It Smell Like Fair Trade?” – inspired by the Fair Tracing project:

“If the surface of a product could react and reveal its composition, how would it tell its story? What is it made of? Where has it been? Inspired by the way the natural world communicates, this design project envisions an alternative to labels and packaging: a living skin, translating consumer information into patterns, smells or textures. In the same way a fruit tells us about its nature, could products themselves inform us of their ethical credentials in an immediate and physical way?”

The "Does It Smell Like Fair Trade" exhibit on opening night. In conversation are Dr Apurba Kundu, principle investigator of the Fair Tracing project, and Professor Tim Unwin, a member of the project's advisory board.

Guests taking a closer look at the "Does It Smell Like Fair Trade?" exhibit on opening night.

These thoughts were represented by a table on which were placed eight generic objects wholly covered in white. This allowed moving images to be projected onto each item in turn, showing how the item’s “skin” could reveal information over time. At the same time, written text was projected onto the table to illustrate just how complex the information represented might be in the future. Note that, while the exhibit represented information visually, in the future information might also be conveyed by changes in the smell or texture of a product’s skin.

Here are a series of short video clips (all in mp4 format) of the “Does It Smell Like Fair Trade?” exhibit taken on a quieter day at the Impact! Exhibition (any ambient sounds you hear are coming from other exhibits):
EPSRC have also reported that discussions are currently underway to have the Impact! Exhibition displayed elsewhere. Watch this space!

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