As a precursor to my Final Major Project, I'm undertaking a series of data walks to better understand the strategies for observing, collecting, and recording multi-sensory information.
- Data walk
- Field notes
I had the privilege to accompany Dr. Kate McLean, in one of her scouting smell walks intended to learn more about the issue of gentrification in Chatham, Kent. During our journey, I picked up tidbits of information on registering and recording smells, the need to involve locals for understanding the lived experience of a place, and the nuances of creating a study revolving around the senses.
Croydon Sensory Walk
I participated in an open-ended sensory walk organised by Katherine Smith in Croydon. Wearing tin cans around our ears to amplify auditory stimuli, the participants walked through a shopping center, noting our feelings and perceptions of the space.
Bermondsey Spa Garden Walk
As an experiment, I undertook a personal sensory walk in Bermondsey Spa Gardens to better understand the complexities of detecting and recording new sensory experiences.
The abundance of spring flowers around made for plenty of data. I smelled the flowers, noted their colors and felt their texture. An interesting set of thoughts came out from this experience. Being unfamiliar with the flora of the city, I struggled to name unfamiliar smells and fell back on comparing them to analogous smells from my past. Some felt unfamiliar enough to fail any comparison. Faint smells required multiple sniffs with pauses to properly register them.