owen wells: a familiar stranger and in remembrance of things past
owen wells: a familiar stranger and in remembrance of things past owen wells: a familiar stranger and in remembrance of things past
oct 19, 2009

owen wells: a familiar stranger and in remembrance of things past

designer owen wells explores our sense of smell and sound through the form of glass vessels.

a familiar stranger, 2009

the familiar stranger deals with the social phenomenon first described by the psychologist stanley milgram. familiar strangers are people we observe regularly, but without interaction, for example, people who share the same morning commute each day. the principles behind the piece are derived from the fact that we may be facilitating many different relationships each day without even knowing it. blogging, social networking and the ever expanding digital landscape encourages this phenomenon. so wells asks, ‘what if we embraced this form of relationship, not as a part of a sinister surveillance culture, but as a way of satisfying a real human need?‘

this glass facilitates a familiar stranger relationship by allowing the auditory observation of your neighbours.

a familiar stranger, 2009

in remembrance of things past, 2009

in remembrance of things past, wells looks to novelist marcel proust who described scents as having a unique ability to evoke emotionally, vivid memories. here, wells investigates our sense of smell and its way of physically entering our bodies, interpreted in the part of the brain which processes emotion and memory.

‘the technology to record scent, as digital data, and recreate it is becoming increasingly commercially viable. what possibilities does this therefore create for our experience of memory or our manipulation of emotions?‘ – OW

remembrance of things past considers an immediate future in which scent memory is used as an emotional stimulant. the glass and decanter provides the setting for this ritualistic experience of memory.

the two vessels used to enhance our emotional connection with smells

the vessels

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