Haeckels Partners with UAL

Haeckels Partners with UAL

Haeckels Partners with UAL: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship at Central Saint Martins

Haeckels and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (CSM) at the University of the Arts London (UAL) have partnered for a PhD research project focused on exploring the creation, design, and experience of future scents.

The PhD research topic ‘Biodesigning the future of scent experience using microbial organisms’ is part of the Living Systems Lab Research Group at Central Saint Martins and is fully funded by UAL in partnership with Haeckels. 

The candidate selected will have access to some of Haeckel’s facilities in Margate, Kent, including the microbial fermentation and scents formulations laboratories. The candidate will also benefit from a supportive and expert-guided environment within the field of scent development and microbial fermentation. 

The primary supervisor is Dr Alice Taylor, a Lecturer in Biology and Living Systems, MA Biodesign at Central Saint Martins. The second supervisor is Professor Carole Collet, Director Maison/0, the Central Saint Martins – LVMH Creative Platform for Regenerative Luxury and Co-Director Living Systems Lab Research Group, Central Saint Martins, UAL. 

Project overview

Working with microbial organisms such as bacterial, algae, fungi and yeasts, this project aims to explore how scents of the future can be produced, designed and experienced. The interdisciplinary project will combine aspects of molecular biology, human and ecological health with biodesign and speculative design. The project is in collaboration with Haeckels; a microbial skincare and fragrance company based in Margate, UK.

The ability to smell is a commonly evolved trait amongst species in the animal kingdom. The odour perception of humans is governed by previous experiences and current psychological and physiological well-being. Scents have been proven to assist in the recall of memories and they have the capacity to arouse emotion. We have developed to subconsciously interact with our microbial neighbours through the scents they create, including geosmin after it’s rained and the smell of yeast throughout the bread making process. 

Perfume can have devastating effects on human and environmental health, the industry is resources heavy and synthetic molecules from fragrances have been found to contaminate aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, the turbulence of our climate is straining the perfume industry. Biotechnology-based production of fragrances could improve the planet-positive ambitions of the perfume industry. 

Microbes, having regenerative capacities, are our chosen collaborator for this project as we believe they hold optimistic solutions to issues which are arising in the scent industries. How can we reimagine and redesign the future of scent experiences using biodesign. Here, we propose investigating the potential of microorganisms for the creation and design of scents and scent experiences which are beneficial for human and planetary health simultaneously.

All applications for this studentship must be received by UAL, by 20 May 2024.

Please find more info at: UAL-post-graduate