THE SKUNKWORKS OF FRAGRANCE
FEULABS is primarily a writing and speculative project for a covert lab operation studying how olfaction can be used to influence fear, retail, and mindfulness for its clients
+ UX/UI Design
+ Digital prototyping
+ MFA Products of Design, School of Visual Arts
+ UX/UI Design
+ Sinister Design
+ Speculative Design
rebranding after scandal
FEULABS is a departure from previous models investigating olfaction and emotion and pushes the boundaries on how data and technologies can influence emotion and behavior. In iterations prior, the products were designed to help users take control of their emotions but FEULABS flips that on its head by helping corporations and government institutions control your emotions. In its more ambitious attempts, FEULABS was embroiled in an ethics scandal when participants of a research study claimed newly-developed traumatic associations with certain scents. To cultivate a friendlier relationship with the public, the FEULABS website was born.
Are you concerned?
You probably should be. The design of the website is intended to evoke a sense of foreboding and suspicion. The homepage of the FEULABS website features bright but somewhat sinister images of medical offices and blocks of dull color and vague imagery, accented by a gradient of noxious neon green. Successful partnerships with large corporations and government institutions such as DARPA and Walmart, as well as conventional businesses like Equinox, demonstrate its relationship with powerful and potentially menacing entities.
The palantir of pungence
Prospective participants in research studies are led to a Smell Profile Survey, which collects responses to disconcerting questions that makes one wonder what the research findings could possibly be. Three additional pages details the areas in fear, retail, and mindfulness that FEULABS investigates, containing ominous and potentially unethical concepts thinly veiled by optimistic and academic copy.