'S(c)ent from memory' - OLVG / Parnassia

Third year I/M/D students of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK) are invited to develop a number of interactive scent-based works or art/installations for a group of elderly people, which evoke (pleasant) memories or a calming atmosphere.

These playful installations can either function as a distraction in the waiting room during the long stressful day of medical examination or as an activity during longer hospital stays. An important objective is to trigger memories that will enable the patients to feel safe and in a trusted space.

As you get older, your sense of smell decreases rapidly. However, the relationship between smell and memory remains strong even while ageing. Since the smell and memory centers in your brain are anatomically very close together, scent is able to evoke strong memories. The perception of smell plays a special role in the brain, and it is important to address the memory of the elderly - which is deteriorating due to ageing or dementia.

Geriatric patients usually have multiple illnesses at the same time, sometimes including forgetfulness. They also often use multiple medications. The sum of the different diseases and medicines makes this group of elderly people 'frail' - they are vulnerable, literally unstable, they fall easily - but also unstable because small setbacks such as a flu can lead to major consequences. Their ability to recover from these small ailments has decreased. The students of I/M/D are invited to develop a number of interactive scent-based works or art/installations for this group of elderly people.

Participating students

Adam Centko, Christian Eckert, Joelle Galloni, Clara Gradel, Fenna de Jonge, Maarten Keus, Arina Livadari, Kristýna Markovičová, Marlot Meyer, Jeremy Raider, Carmen Roca Igual, Jara van Teeffelen, Tomislava Vankova, Leyla Benouniche


Anja Hertenberger, Janine Huizenga, Dave Willé

Project details


OLVG locatie West, Amsterdam, The Netherlands &
Parnassia, institute for mental health, The Hague, Netherlands


interactive scent-based works or art/installations