There is something in the air

There is something in the air

Time for design and scents


(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 1 2017)

Time is a magical thing. Sometimes we feel it racing past, and sometimes it seems to stand still. But what if the time could suddenly catapult us into entirely different spheres? If we could let time literally intoxicate and sprinkle us? We can ...

At first glance, one could believe the simple but stylish copper bowl on the dark wall is merely a beautiful decorative object. At a closer look, one discovers twelve perfectly arranged perforations at the edge of the bowl reminiscent of a classic clock face. ‘There is Something in the Air’ is a suitable title for the final piece by Stuttgart-born designer Patrick Palcic, with which he finishes his course of product design at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Whilst the object resembles a typical clock, one wonders how it might tell you the time, as there is no hand or dial. With his ingenious and totally new idea, Palcic creates a new way to tell and sense time. For the twelve perforations of the copper bowl will be filled with different essences, and every hour has a different scent. In an hourly rhythm, a droplet of essence runs onto the preheated copper bowl, slowly evaporating to leave a fine trace of oxidation at the surface. The first scent fills the room.

This process is repeated hourly, the bowl moving to the next opening to release a new fragrance each time. The olfactory clock makes it possible for the user to experience time in a new way; time is now literally in the air. You can detect it with different senses, and you can even breathe it in. In our fast-paced age, everything depends on time, and you are constantly aware of what time it is. Time without numbers is unimaginable. With this new clock, you perceive every hour differently and consciously. You don’t have to look at your watch to see what time it is. You can smell it. Palcic changes the way we read time, not just by seeing but also for the first time by smelling. ‘There is Something in the Air’ has been nominated for this year’s Pure Talents Contest at the furniture trade fair IMM Cologne and is in the process of being readied for production.

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Picture credit © Erik Vogler & Patrick Palcic

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