Antonella Radicchi

Antonella Radicchi

Architect and Urbanist, PhD




For the Journal Frontiers in Psychology (Impact Factor 2.129 [JCR, 2019], section: Environmental Psychology), Drs. Jieling Xiao, Francesco Aletta and I are curating a Research Topic on Smells, Well-being, and the Built Environment. Below an excerpt from the Call for Contributions, open until 30 November 2020.

“From the pungent smells of Khari Baoli Spice Market in New Delhi to soothing smells of Mayfair Lavender Farm in south London, smells bring distinct identities to places and can connect people emotionally to the surroundings. Smells are powerful to influence our feeling and recall memories of the past. Experiences of smells enrich our understandings of places and behavioral responses in places. In light of aromatherapies, spaces with therapeutic smells can potentially bring positive impacts on human wellbeing. In service spaces, smells are important environmental cues to delight people. In artistic practice, smells are curated to create an immersive experience to connect the audience and artists’ inner worlds. Conversely smells in the form of odor pollution deriving from waste, traffic, plants, and food districts can compromise the quality of life of residents, and negatively affect our experience of places and lead to behavior changes.

Smell, as a wellbeing-spatial medium, how much do we know about?

We aim to collect a body of work to understand the emotional and wellbeing responses resulted from smells in different public spaces (museums, highstreets, heritage buildings, food districts, gentrified neighborhoods, squares, etc.) to inform future spatial design and management.

In particular, the collection wishes to contribute three parts of literature:

  • Theoretical frameworks to understand relationships between smells, wellbeing and emotions, behaviors and physiological aspects;
  • Methodological approaches to measure smell triggered emotions, experiences, and quality of life;
  • Practical explorations on the process and challenges of using smells to trigger emotions and manipulate behaviors.

We welcome cross-disciplinary contributions from architecture, geography, urban design and planning, psychology, neuroscience, business management, art and cultural studies, environmental planning, environmental justice, gentrification studies, citizen science. The collection is open to a broad range of article types, including Original Research, Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Brief Research Report, and Case Study. Please note that Authors may include audios and videos as supplementary materials”.

Keywords: wellbeing, emotions, smell perception, smell scape, environmental odors, sensory urbanism, spatial design and management, environmental planning, citizen science.