ALAMEDA HEART NOTES
Downtown Los Angeles has a long history whose layers are concealed today through vast asphalt parking lots, bustling markets, and industrial spaces. To uncover these memories, we turned to our sense of smell as a way of exploring and preserving the forgotten past. 

SALT teamed up with the Institute of Art and Olfaction to explore the relationship between landscape as it relates to memory, and to distill the cultural narratives and forgotten ephemera embedded in this ever evolving city. Through research, conversation, and collaboration with people connected to the various eras - ancestors, historians, and first-hand experts - we set out to identify and extract both the tangible and intangible elements related to particular moments in time and capture it in the creation of a unique series of scents.

Our research was centered around the site of ROW DTLA - the location where our historical findings and scents were put on display for a live event at the 2019 Los Angeles Design Festival.


For more information on this project, visit www.alamedaheartnotes.info.
Photography by Michael Wells.
Pre-1781
The Yaangna

1833
Spanish Missions

1876 Citrus + Railroads

1917 The Terminal Market

2000
Industrial Reuse

2019
The Row DTLA

Photography by Michael Wells.
Our exploration focused on five eras in the evolution of the project site and surrounding area, beginning with the native lands prior to 1781 and ending in the current site use today. Through our workshops, we created custom scents that represent both the natural and man made elements that define each time period, invoking everything from tangy citrus groves to human toil, from train engine soot to fresh fruits and vegetables, from soap to sagebrush. 
Photography by Michael Wells.
We would like to recognize and extend a huge thank you to our workshop participants who brought a tremendous amount of expertise to this project.

Saskia Wilson-Brown, Founder at the Institute of Art and Olfaction
Matthew R. Teutimez, Tribal Biologist with the Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians of the Kizh Nation
Michael Holland, Vintner and City Archivist
David Boule, Historian and Author of The Orange and the Dream of California
Glen Creason, Historian and LAPL Map Librarian
Iris Alonzo, Founder of Everybody.world


Press Packet
Photograpy by Michael Wells.

Photography by Michael Wells.
Participants at the LA Design Festival opening night block party were able to experience the scents in person.  Our project team members were each assigned an era and handed out custom bookmarks that noted the time period and a brief overview of the respective landscape history. 


Whether natural, related to the local flora and fauna, or artificial, in the sense of revealing the presence and activities of man, odour constitutes an essential component of the character of a place. There really are smellscapes. The moment you get off an airplane, Korea smells of kimchi, Tahiti smells of its indigenous gardenias, Dakar smells of dried fish: for natives or frequent visitors, this guarantees an emotional response of the “Proustian experience” variety; for newcomers, it results in a more or less pleasant shock because of its unfamiliarity.  Almost everything still remains to be understood in this area ... A whole segment of a society’s imaginative world is revealed in the odour of its environment.

-Jean-Robert Pitte, 1998


SALT Landscape Architects
423 Gin Ling Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012
+1 (213) 234-0057 
studio@salt-la.com


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