Famous Deaths installation to be exhibited at Tech Open Air 2014

Nienke Huitenga op 7 juli 2014 CMD, Design, Media, Technologie

Students and lecturers from Communication & Multimedia Design present the FAMOUS DEATHS installation Mark II at Tech Open Air 2014, on the 16th of july. The work is part of the research project SENSE OF SMELL and poses questions about whether we can experience someone's death up close and personal?


Famous people who have died tragic deaths can leave ineradicable scars to our collective memory. J.F. Kennedy, Lady Diana and even Whitney Houston... Till this day, the way that they died still toys with our imagination. Many theories about the exact cause of death still revolve around their passing. Wouldn't we like to have been there? This intermediate version of the final installation (Mark II, see design sketch below) is the reconstruction of the Whitney Houston scenario.

Whitney Houston

FAMOUS DEATHS will recreate a famous person’s last few minutes alive by using scent. We all know  the images of that open car that slowly drives through the streets of Dallas, the President happily waving to the crowd. And then those few fatal shots. What must it have been like to be near that car?  You would smell an autumn wind, the grass, the leather car seats, Jacky Kennedy's perfume, exhaust fumes mingled with the somewhat musty scent of that limousine, and then suddenly the penetrating scent of blood, brains and gunpowder drilling its way into your nostrils.


FAMOUS DEATHS is a series of four portraits of celebrities and their final moments. This installation will reconstruct these moments as closely as possible, using only sound and scents. This will create a short but intimate experience. By taking away any visual keys, you allow your visitors to experience these portraits more intensely.
J.F. Kennedy 
Lady Diana, 
Whitney Houston



FAMOUS DEATHS is part of the SENSE OF SMELL project, an international co-creation and research project designed by Communication and Multimedia Design (CMD) Breda at the AVANS University of Applied science, the Netherlands, and part of the European cross-border network VIVID (Value Increase by Visual Design).

Within this project, teachers and students explore the amazing world of scent. Their aim is to rethink and prototype the possibilities of scent for strategic communication, way finding, storytelling, interaction and media design. SENSE OF SMELL is on-going and is currently developing prototypes for interactive installations, sensual experiences and immersive events.

A ‘scent printer’, developed within the project will be used to create the sound/scent experience of FAMOUS DEATHS. In September 2014 all research and developments will be published in a book of ideas, concepts and engaging new thoughts on the subject of smell.

Info & bookings
via .(JavaScript moet ingeschakeld zijn om dit e-mail adres te bekijken)
for SENSE OF SMELL lecture, or FAMOUS DEATHS installation

Lecturers, designers & artists > Marcel van Brakel, Frederik Duerinck Wander Eikelboom, Thijs Eerens, Simon Kentgens, Paul van 't Hullenaar, Martijn de Ruiter, Mark Meeuwenoord.
Students > Anne Breevoord, Job van den Hoonaard, Bas van Hal, Daan Rijnkels, Marcel Boonman, Ruben Scheres, Dirk van Bokkem.
Also massive thanks to > IFF, Bernardo Juan Fleming.

Illustration: Paul van 't Hullenaar.

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