Project proposal: Lucie Majerus

Colour-Smells of Amsterdam

Sustainable souvenirs

As a product designer, I am interested in how countries design nation branding and souvenirs. How can we find new ways for tourists to experience a place while giving them new sensual possibilities? How can we create valuable un/tangible memories with unusual materials and design new cultural behaviors? I like to involve people in my design research process while following a specific methodology, adapted to the place and space where the projects happen. The Color-Smells of __ series consists of research trips to Greece, Luxembourg and Paris so far in order to explore the places with three questions: What shapes has the place? What is the smell of the place? What are the colors of the place?

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cover of the subjective atlas of Luxembourg - In this Subjective Atlas of Luxembourg more than 100 creative minds with a relationship to Luxembourg map the country according to a subject close to them – whether through maps, infographics, photo series or other cartographic explorations. Their compiled subjective points of view and dots on the map are a snapshot of people allowing different influences to come together to create a pluralistic identity. That identity resembles a kaleidoscope in which particles of colour and shape are… Lucie Majerus

Project description

Research process

I collect local colors and smells with memorabilia and materials. These will be arranged in a local color wheel. By organizing workshops with locals and tourists, I will involve them in my creation process. They try to answer the same research questions, learn the silkscreen print technique and experiment with natural colors creations. The resulting designs vary according to the context and can consist of prints, patterns and products made from local materials. The products can become new souvenirs for tourists, aiming to retain the smell of the place. As smell is directly linked to the memory part of our brain, it can work as a strong link to our experience of a place.

Colour-Smells: experiencing a place with our senses

As a city of mass tourism at is best or worst, Amsterdam attracts with its history, water, architecture, culture and laws about weed. The pandemic has made people realize that trips are not as easy and cheerful as they used to be. Especially ecological awareness about short distance flights, make people rethink their holiday destinations. New ways of exploring a place have emerged, always involving a screen and a digital experience: an online guided tour, a 3d online exhibition view. These tools are useful to avoid business trips for meetings, but as a tourist you can’t feel satisfied by watching a documentary of a place, dreaming about it and experience a 3d online tour of the Van Gogh museum for instance. A place is experienced with all our senses, the sight: closely observing an ancient stone of a house, widening the view while being at the open water of Amsterdam. Smelling the water and the algae, or maybe even indulging yourself with rotten fish smell after a market. Tasting the apeltaart and the raw haring while sipping a beer is not the same when you do it at home as when you are surrounded by locals. This project tries to connect people differently to a place by offering sensual experiences and workshops.

Possible ways to expand the project

Together with a smell expert I could dive deeper into making smelly colors which will last longer that the ones I am creating now. As I am interested in synesthesia, I would love to meet someone who can smell colors. Also I would love to research natural colors together with a chemist expert, who could help me to understand color compositions better.

Personal introduction

As a designer, I like to question and make people question the ordinary, trigger their imagination and playfulness and make them smile for a moment. I like to look into the past to understand how things are today to be able to imagine the future. My interests lie in conceptual thinking, our senses, experiences and memories, social cohesion and material experiments. I use multi-disciplinary ways in my work ranging from products, textiles, colors, illustration and jewellery.

Estimated costs 

Artist fee 5000 € Material costs 5000 €

The project could happen in a time frame of around 2 months, with weekly workshops, meetings with scientific collaborators and testing and materializing new ideas.

This proposal is part of the 'Penny for your Thoughts' project 2022.

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Lucie Majerus hosting a kids workshop - Photo by Sven Becker Lucie Majerus

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Colour-Smells of Luxembourg cartes postale adultes - In this Subjective Atlas of Luxembourg more than 100 creative minds with a relationship to Luxembourg map the country according to a subject close to them – whether through maps, infographics, photo series or other cartographic explorations. Their compiled subjective points of view and dots on the map are a snapshot of people allowing different influences to come together to create a pluralistic identity. That identity resembles a kaleidoscope in which particles of colour and shape are… Lucie Majerus

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Drawings for Memento - Memento is a concept about Taste-seeing and Smell-seeing while traveling by Lucie Majerus. A new way of collecting and cherishing memories trough the idea of making your own fading souvenir with local natural resources. In the first Memento edition you taste, touch and smell Greece, with beeswax candles and postcards printed with vegetable inks in abstracted greek architecture shapes. Photo taken by  Lucie Majerus Lucie Majerus

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Image of Memento - Memento is a concept about Taste-seeing and Smell-seeing while traveling by Lucie Majerus. A new way of collecting and cherishing memories trough the idea of making your own fading souvenir with local natural resources. In the first Memento edition you taste, touch and smell Greece, with beeswax candles and postcards printed with vegetable inks in abstracted greek architecture shapes. Photo taken by  Lucie Majerus Lucie Majerus

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Publication Memento - Memento is a concept about Taste-seeing and Smell-seeing while traveling by Lucie Majerus. A new way of collecting and cherishing memories trough the idea of making your own fading souvenir with local natural resources. In the first Memento edition you taste, touch and smell Greece, with beeswax candles and postcards printed with vegetable inks in abstracted greek architecture shapes. Photo taken by  Lucie Majerus Lucie Majerus

Vergroot

Drawings for Memento - Memento is a concept about Taste-seeing and Smell-seeing while traveling by Lucie Majerus. A new way of collecting and cherishing memories trough the idea of making your own fading souvenir with local natural resources. In the first Memento edition you taste, touch and smell Greece, with beeswax candles and postcards printed with vegetable inks in abstracted greek architecture shapes. Photo taken by  Lucie Majerus Lucie Majerus