Study: Can You Smell Shapes?

The study is part of the Crossmodal Interactive Tools for Inclusive Learning project, an EPSRC-funded project in which we aim to design and research technologies that are inclusive of both sighted and visually impaired children in the context of mainstream education.

In this particular study, the shape of smells study, we are investigating how young people (10-17yrs) tend to associate certains scents with certain shapes, with the aim of informing the design of novel scent displays that could enhance educational technologies, e.g. to go beyond using text, graphics, speech and Braille to engage children with mixed visual abilities in learning activities.

A study session would be quite short (20-30 minutes), hands-on and exploratory, and the young participant will get to experiment with different 3D printed materials and natural scents (based on commercially available oil fragrances that comply with UK and EU regulations).

The study will take place at the Bristol Interaction Lab, Merchant Venturers Building, Woodland Road, BS8 1UB, and we will be carrying this out during the months of August and September.

If you think your child may interested in taking part in this study, or have any questions, or would like any further information about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact the project lead, Dr Oussama Metatla, who can be reached at:, or 011795 45144.

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