at our Open Days
Dr Kate McLean works at the intersection of human-perceived smellscapes, cartography and the communication of ‘eye-invisible’ sensed data. To achieve this, she leads international public smellwalks and translate the resulting data using digital design, watercolour, animation, scent diffusion and sculpture into smellmaps showcasing the invisible world of smells.
Educated in Boston, USA, the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Art in London Kate previously led the BA Graphic Design programme at Canterbury Christ Church University before joining Kent in 2021.
Kate has an international profile and is often invited as speaker at workshops and conferences around the world across a range of fields from Landscape Architecture to Design, Olfactory Heritage to Sensory Studies. She also works to promote understanding of anosmia and parosmia for international charitable organisations.
At the University of Kent, Kate leads the Graphic Design programme within the School of Architecture and Planning. The course enables students to develop and hone key skills as designers – translation, creation and articulation – through projects that focus on environmental and experiential graphic design problems from signage and wayfinding to typographic shrines, digital collage book cover design to moving image. The course interweaves with the BA in Spatial and Interior Design, also offered by the School.
In 2023, Kate was awarded the University Teaching Prize in recognition of the exemplary way she has embedded employability into the curriculum.
Kate teaches visual communication, experimental typography, creative narratives and environments, communications, photography and imagine, fundamentals of design and visual communication.
DESG5003: Design Agency
DESG5005: Brand Experience
DESG6000: Information Design
DESG6003: Design Exploration
DESG6004: Design Realisation
August 2021 – October 2021
‘Entorno Encuentro Exploración’ / Group, by invitation / Museo Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
July 2021 – January 2022
‘Two Hundred Years of Stink’ / Solo, by invitation / Curated by: French, J / Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Widnes, UK
January 2020 – February 2020
‘Charting the World’ / Group, by invitation / Curated by: Davidson, D / Suffolk University Gallery, Boston, USA
February 2019 – February 2020
‘Quel flair !‘ / Group, by invitation / Curated by: Leibling, C / le Musée de la main UNIL-CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland
April 2018 – September 2018
‘The Senses: Design Beyond Vision‘ / Group, by invitation / Curated by: Lupton, E / Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, NYC, USA
‘Summer Streets NYC: Astor Place’ / Group, by invitation / NYC, USA
July 2016 – March 2017
‘You Are Here: A Journey through Maps‘ / Group, by invitation / Curated by: Williams, P / National Library of Scotland touring exhibit, UK