Breathe In / Breathe Out at Vienna Biennale in MAK

Humans still communicate via odorants and pheromones, both conscious and subconscious and yet the sense of smell is our most underrated sense. The design research Breathe IN / Breath OUT aims is to develop unique scents for bio-based polymer blends that actively work with our brain to help to transition towards a future circular economy. We believe that building a new economy also means to design new sensorial experiences for future generations. 

Materials currently used in architecture, interior and product design are primarily perceived by visual and tactile properties, olfactory properties are much less prominent. However, scent as such plays a central role in the emotional acceptance of a material and decisively determines its distinctive character.

How to distinguish between natural and synthetic materials? 
How to make conscious choices and keep materials in the loop?
How would a plastic-free planet smell?


The installation presents two smells that convey the lifecycle of bioplastics from the sweet, roasty smell of the processing of the raw material to our interpretation of the smell of decay. Be invited, come closer and experience it.

 Breathe IN / Breathe OUT is kindly supported by the Fritz and Trude Fortmann-Stiftung für Baukultur und Materialien. This installation is supported by the Slovak Art Council, the Slovak Design Center and the Museum of Applied Arts Vienna.

Breathe IN / Breathe OUT (2018 - 21): craftings plastics! studio and Office MMK
Collaboration (2020): Studio Omer Polak
Scent development (2020-21): scientist Karol Červenčík, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava