The Waiting Room: Improving Space Through Smell

Alejandra Vilaplana
University of Tsukuba, Japan

Toshimasa Yamanaka
University of Tsukuba, Japan

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Ingår i: KEER2014. Proceedings of the 5th Kanesi Engineering and Emotion Research; International Conference; Linköping; Sweden; June 11-13

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 100:20, s. 255-267

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Publicerad: 2014-06-11

ISBN: 978-91-7519-276-5

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Waiting is an inevitable part of life and the spaces in which we wait can contribute to either improve or worsen the experience. This paper covers the process and results of “The waiting room”; analyzing if the presence of specific smells has a significant impact in how the room and the waiting experience are perceived. Two different odorants were selected; lavender (relaxing) and orange (stimulating); 63 participants from 32 different countries were assigned into three groups (between-groups approach): Control (unscented); Orange and Lavender. Results show that both scents affected the room and waiting experience evaluation in different ways and overall increased the surrounding space perception compared to the unscented condition. Participants exposed to lavender scent were inclined to rate as higher the ‘psychological’ properties of the room such as pleasantness and warmth; in addition the scent-evoked memories were emotion based. Participants exposed to orange scent tended to rate as higher the ‘physical’ properties of the room such as brightness and height; scent-evoked memories were object based. Lavender scent had a stronger influence in space perception than orange; suggesting the relevance of congruency and coherence between scent and physical environment when incorporating scent as a valid design tool in architecture.


Kansei Architecture; Space Perception; Smell; Waiting experience


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