fossa olfactoria

Kirkland Gallery, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Through the use of essential oils, heat and air, a tactile and olfactory experience manifests in Fossa Olfactoria. 

While scent is oft unexplored or completely omitted from serious discussions of architecture, scent and odor shape experience, occupancy, and comfort in powerful ways.

This installation brings the viewer into the epicenter of olfactory experience  -  the spatial cavity where the olfactory bulb is located - playing on notions of scale, phenomena, and bodily experience. An immersive, fleshy fabric membrane obscures an undulating massing of one thousand balloons.

The balloons act as both sculptors of space and vessels of scent. Each balloon contains a drop of lavender oil which is released into the air as the balloons deflate, producing a pulsing wall that diffuses scent gradually.


Collaboration with Erin Pellegrino