Plants not only shaped the Earth’s history, their chemical signatures shaped human culture.
Around the world plants that have risen to iconic cultural status, have done so because of the bioactive compounds of their characteristic scents make them invaluable to their respective human communities. The olfactory sculpture, World Sensorium, is comprised of extracts from these very plants. It is, in essence, our bio-cultural heritage. The essential oils within the sculpture were blended in a formula based on population percentages of each country, reflecting the ethos of the project— that everyone counts.
In the World Sensorium project, we use the term iconic plants to refer to aromatic plants that have risen to high cultural status with each and every country or culture. Iconic plants are instantly recognizable not just by their visual appearance, but by their scent alone. It is in this way that that many iconic plants build brand identity within their countries, galvanizing cultural identity through distinctive traditions and uses, and becoming symbols of home for their citizens.
Many of these iconic plants, with their broad range of bioactivities and long history of utility to humans, are now endangered species and could disappear from the Earth if critical actions are not taken. Their fates and ours are inexorably linked.
However, we can create a world where nature and humanity thrive together.
Here you can explore the world social sculpture, World Sensorium, and tour the world’s iconic aromatic plants by country. Investigate the existential uncertainties of our era, become an effective conservationist and —join the community by taking personal action.