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Changing our relationship with space


service provided: 

product design, branding, user research

Lift is a response to a brief by the design firm Aruliden to develop a smart object for the connected home. Using their design methodology of "producting" designers George Crichlow and Lusha Huang developed a smart device capable of making a studio apartment feel like a four bedroom space through scent. 

In their research they discovered three key insights. One, smart home devices like Nest neglect a growing market of "downsizers". People who are willing to trade in the idea of owning the "American dream" home in favor of a more simple, less materialistic life.  Such people find the idea of micro homes liberating, freeing themselves from high mortgage payments, utility bills, cleaning, and general upkeep. Two, in small spaces it hard to change your mindset. And finally scent has the ability to influence mood.

Scent is the most direct of all our senses. It is often our first response to stimuli. It alerts us to fire before we see flames. It makes us recoil before we taste rotten food. That’s because scent more than any other sense is intimately linked to parts of the brain that process emotion and associative learning.  In short smell can affect our mood and change our perception of space.

Armed with this knowledge, Lift uses four essential oil diffusers to activate any number of scents. With four compartments and a central heating chamber, the device can create a scent notification for any occasion.  When paired with a smartphone it can set a morning reminder to wake you up to the aroma of pancakes or help you refocus in the afternoon with the scent of coffee. 










Sketches created by Lusha Huang. The forms are inspired the mountain top of Chinese mountains, the spouts of volcanos and the dispersement of smoke through the air.