Jenny Tillotson is a Senior Research Fellow in the sensory, aroma and medical field in Fashion & Textiles Design at the Innovation Centre at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design , directing the Scentsory Design® initiative. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Nanotechnology (FIoN) and an Associate of the British Society of Perfumery. Tillotson gained her BA in Fashion Communication & Promotion from Central Saint Martins in 1991 and a PhD in Printed Textiles at the Royal College of Art. Her thesis title was ‘Interactive Olfactory Surfaces' in 1997 supported by a documentary film: “The Wellness Collection - A Science Fashion Story”
Tillotson is an artist and designer who invents clothes with computerised scent-output systems worn on the body for health, wellbeing and drug delivery applications . She is acknowledged as a visionary in the field of Scentsory Design ® , which concerns the relationship between aromas and emotional wellbeing. She began researching new imaginative ways in which fashion is communicated creatively in the media, focusing on smell and the impact it has on our health and wellbeing. Her aim is to introduce interactive smell technology to the forefront of sensory design. She specialises in smell but works with all senses to create ‘scen sitive' clothing, jewellery, shoes and books that offer a new platform for psychological wellbeing. Her work has always had an element of fantasy as her ideas originated from her multisensory graduating book called ‘ WONDER', based on Alice in Wonderland. She was unable to find a scent-output device for the ‘SMELL ME' page that would add novelty and enhance the mental state. All that was on offer was scratch and sniff.
Tillotson has worked as a Fashion Science Consultant for Unilever Home & Personal Care at Port Sunlight Research & Development Labs and more recently with NIKE R&D. Prior to her academic work she was a fashion stylist before working as a Sensory Designer for Charmed Technology . She has also worked with medical device technologists; international fragrance houses such as International Flavours & Fragrances; scent communication group Aerome; fashion designer Adeline André and taught fashion, textiles and Communication design at various art schools. Her work to date has been funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the UK . Till otsons interest in new applications for fragrance and healthcare began after training as a buddy for the Terrence Higgins Trust : supporting people emotionally who were living with HIV and AIDS, and as an assistant for the elderly and charity worker for WAR CHILD . She decided to search for an alternative method that was more interactive than scratch n' sniff in order to make people feel confident and good, but also as a new medium to tell imaginative stories. Her PhD was a mixture of conceptual fashion with a twist of science fiction and fantasy as her interest in wearable technology began after a visit to the MIT Media Lab in 1995 when she was a student at the Royal College of Art.
Her research has been acknowledged by science fiction authors Gregory Benford (Timescape) and Greg Bear (Darwins Radio). Bear was particularly impressed with the potential of ‘smell in fashion' claiming that her work would be very valuable in the near future, based on his own years of research into the impact of smell on our health and wellbeing. Others to consider her work pioneering include NIKE; NASA; Unilever; DERA; France Telecom R&D; SWAROVSKI; SONY Computer Science Labs; Nokia; Sauquoit Industries Inc; M.I.T Media Lab; Arizona State University; Art collector Maurice Saatchi; Brian Eno; Sara Diamond (president of the Ontario College of Art & Design); John Ayres (Fragrance Consultant); Dr George Dodd (Sense of smell scientist and perfumer); Charles Ostman (Former Science Editor of Mondo 2000); Ian Pearson (BT futurologist); Quest International; Firmenich; Professor Ian Shanks (former Unilever scientist), Professor Yacov Sharir (Sharir Dance Company at the University of Texas); Professor Peter Cochrane (former Technologist at BT Labs); Mik Lemming (HP Labs) and Martin Cooper (inventor of the first cellular telephone for Motorola 1971). Her work was first recognised in the wearable technology arena in 1999 at the 3 rd International Symposium Wearable Computers in San Francisco .
Current projects include the recently completed e.Scent project : a collection of responsive jewellery, bags and products designed by Ben Hughes from CSM and jeweller Don Baxendale, with analytical chemists Dr Gareth Jenkins and Professor Andreas Manz (pioneer of ‘lab-on-a-chip') from ISAS Germany www.isas-dortmund.de funded by an Innovation Award from the Arts & Humanities Research Board (AHRB). Work in progress includes a fashion and pheromone collection for the Science Fashion Lab® , a multisensory book Scent Fiction ® , a Fragrant Fluidic Chime clock with Arizona State University, an animation film ‘Scentsory Design®, and responsive environment project ‘ Scentimental Space' which was nominated for the Fused Space 2004 competition www.fusedspace.org and is currently on show at the Fused DataSpace exhibiton at Stroom Den Haag in the Hague (29 August – 9 October 2005).
Tillotson won various awards at the RCA where her PhD was part funded by International Flavours & Fragrances who recently sponsored two fragrances: ‘Eau doh' for a ‘Scentsory Perception' exhibition at the Cheltenham Science Festival (9-11 June 2004) and ‘Freebee - Scentient Bees' for the e-culture fair in Amsterdam (23-24 October 2003). Both exhibitions showed the ‘Smart Second Skin' dress as an interactive scent installation, funded by an Arts & Humanities Research Board Award in the Creative and Performing Arts
The dress has also been featured at the recent ‘Touch Me' exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum , Royal Society London, NEMO Science Centre, Banff New Media Institute Code Zebra Fashion Show, FEED festival, NESTA Crucible Lab Dartington Hall, user_mode at Tate Modern and ‘WEAR ME' exhibition (IEE Eurowearable 03 conference). She has presented her work at the ‘Future of the Twentieth Century Conference: AHRC Centre for Textile Conservation & Textile Studies' (July 2005), ‘Smart Fabrcs' conference in Barcelona (Feb 2005), AVANTEX (June 2005), AUTEX World Textile Conference Slovenia (July 2005), Institute of Nanotechnology ‘New Technologies & Smart Textiles for Fashion' conference (Dec 2004) and the Fifth International Biennial on Contemporary Textile Art / " Scythia " Textile Symposium Ukraine (June 2004),
She was invited as this year's guest speaker alongside Thad Starner, Katherine Moriwaki and Elise Co at SIGGRAPH 2005 special session on ‘Extreme Fashion' , chaired by Dr Maggie Orth CEO of International Fashion Machines . Other work has been featured at the Dana Centre, CTIA WirelessShow 2005 , SIGGRAPH 2004 and Ubiconf 2004 (UCLIC Ubiquitous Computing conference, Gresham College London). In May 2004, she worked with Professor Frederic Zenhausern and Professor Ghassan Jabbour at the Flexible Display Center , Arizona State University . Together they presented the ‘Scentsory Chameleon' at ‘WIRED NextFest2004' in San Francisco .
Jenny's work has been featured in various high-tech fashion books and numerous press articles spanning twelve countries such as WIRED, Italian Glamour, Waikato Times, Archis Architecture magazine, Women's Wear Daily, Times Higher Education Supplement, The BA: Science & Public Affairs, HorizonZero (issue 16: WEAR), Business News, Technical Textiles, CIO Trend lines, Interactions, Perfumer & Flavorist, LINK, Financial Times, Gulliver, The New Scientist, Footwear News, The New York Times, The Sunday Times, NRC Handelsblad, Het Parool, NOVA, BARE, Stern, Financieel Economische Tijd, The Guardian, The Independent, Harpers & Queen, Marie Claire, Textile Forum, BBC Radio, CNBC, CNN, National Geographic Channel, ‘Richard & Judy' Channel 4, Sky News, Rhizome, ComputerWorld and Popgadget.
Future work will be featured at the Wearable Futures conference in Newport Wales 14-16 September 2005, as a speaker in the Fashion Symposium at the Plastic Electronics 2005 conference at MesseFrankfurt 4-5 October 2005 and her latest animation film will be screened at the Future-Femme film festival in California which starts touring in San Francisco from 16 September 2005 .
Ultimately, her dream is to miniaturise the technology she has created for the e.scent project and embed this is a new WONDER book, which she plans to write with her children.