Scent as Design

Design / by Eva Wisten / March 23, 2010

This week, scientists, designers, and artists will gather in New York to discuss how our lives could be transformed by recognizing scent as design.

Now In Innovation

  • The Once and Future Genome

    On the tenth anniversary of the sequencing of the human genome, what is that remarkable feat’s legacy, and what does it mean for the future?

  • Beneath the Surface

    Powerful computer simulations may be the best method available to quantify the amount of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon—and to predict where it will go.

  • fMRI on Trial

    If neuroimaging can reliably discern truth from falsehood, should brain scans be admissible evidence in court cases?

  • Greener Pastures

    Dominant theory says that desertification is caused by overgrazing. Operation Hope, winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, has upended this idea—restoring degraded African grasslands into lush, green pasture.

  • Bottom of the Barrel

    A new book argues that marketplace innovations will make the future brighter, better, and more prosperous, but is such unbounded optimism rational?

  • Science 2.0 Pioneers

    From open-access journals to research-review blogs, networked knowledge has made science more accessible to more people around the globe than we could have imagined 20 years ago.

  • Dynamic by Design

    Jessica Banks and Andrew Laska, the co-founders of the design firm RockPaperRobot, are using science and technology to change the meaning of “furniture.”

  • The Scent of Design

    Commissioned by HEADSPACE, five designers—dubbed “accidental perfumers”—joined bona fide scent experts to explore the intersection of creativity and smell.

  • Watered by the Sun

    Linking the efficiency of drip-irrigation to the reliability of solar panels, a new technology—and a creative science-development partnership—is helping women to grow more food in rural Benin.

  • The Science of Stuff

    A visual tour of the colorful, the strange, and the super-strong in the Material ConneXion library, where new forms of cloth, concrete, metal, and more line the walls.


Humans, Version 3.0

The next giant leap in human evolution may not come from new fields like genetic engineering or artificial intelligence, but rather from appreciating our ancient brains.


The Silk Renaissance

From its origins in the Far East thousands of years ago, silk has now infiltrated the realm of scientific research, offering breakthrough applications that could change the world.

What We Know

Taming Carbon’s Wild Side

Highly reactive molecules known as carbenes have gone from unstable intermediates with nanosecond lifetimes to powerful tools in synthetic chemistry.

Now on

  • Ideas

    I Tried Almost Everything Else

    John Rinn, snowboarder, skateboarder, and “genomic origamist,” on why we should dumpster-dive in our genomes and the inspiration of a middle-distance runner.

  • Ideas

    Going, Going, Gone

    The second most common element in the universe is increasingly rare on Earth—except, for now, in America.

  • Ideas

    Earth-like Planets Aren’t Rare

    Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction.

The Seed Salon

Video: conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on fundamental issues and ideas at the edge of science and culture.

Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

Video: Seed revisits the questions C.P. Snow raised about science and the humanities 50 years by asking six great thinkers, Where are we now?

Saved by Science

Audio slideshow: Justine Cooper's large-format photographs of the collections behind the walls of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Universe in 2009

In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism.

Revolutionary Minds
The Interpreters

In this installment of Revolutionary Minds, five people who use the new tools of science to educate, illuminate, and engage.

The Seed Design Series

Leading scientists, designers, and architects on ideas like the personal genome, brain visualization, generative architecture, and collective design.

The Seed State of Science

Seed examines the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice.

A Place for Science

On the trail of the haunts, homes, and posts of knowledge, from the laboratory to the field.


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