Posts Tagged ‘research’

Botany for Interface Design

May 18th, 2014 No comments

Plant Colour Patterns

The artistic research on Human Plant Interface involves a basic understanding of the living organism plants. Botany is the scientific discipline that studies and classifies plants and describes the mechanisms of plants as well as the cultural topics of plants related to humans and nature. Botany is a broad field and not every topic is relevant for Human Plant Interfaces.

This thesis focuses therefore only on a special kind of plant within the kingdom of green plants (Viridiplantae in Latin). This includes multicellular groups as flowering plants, conifers, ferns and mosses, which exist almost all over our environment. Generally spoken, plants have the basic body parts: roots, stems and leaves. Plants of the category green algae and fungi are neglected because of there complicated metabolism. This would go beyond the scope of this thesis.

From the viewpoint of botany the field is still big and for that reason, the following research on plants is focused on the most relevant topics: Plant physiology, plant ecology, ethnobotany and horticulture.

The chapter called physiology describes how a plant senses its environment. The structure of the chapter is based on the human senses, which reveals the similarities and differences between the human and plant perception. The basics of the plant sensor system are important for the following research in visualizing techniques and biosensing applications with plants.

The chapter on plant ecology introduces the interaction between a plant and its environment. Especially the interaction between various species is one important topic. The results are important for the following research on biosensing with plants and the application of locomotion towards plants.

Plants are a crucial element in human culture. The chapter about ethnobotany explores these aspects with a focus on contemporary art projects built with plants. The presented artistic activities hold a strong value for the whole research on Human Plant Interfaces.

The chapter horticulture will provide an introduction into gardening techniques as well as the social aspects of gardening. Both topics have a strong relationship with social design and art. For this reason, this chapter holds some background knowledge for the chapter “3.4. Digital Network and Community Design with plants” on page 85. Moreover, it refers to other artistic approaches like activism and visualizing techniques with plants.

Benefits of Human Plant Interfaces

May 18th, 2014 11 comments

Plant Colour Patterns

The beginning of the introduction mentioned the current ecological problems caused by humans. Some of these issues can be blamed directly on the inappropriate use of technology. The research on Human Plant Interfaces proposes interaction design solutions, which are more eco and human friendly. The exploration of these advantages is separated in the four parts design, urban development, production lifecycle, and social design.


Definition of Human Plant Interfaces

May 18th, 2014 No comments

Plant Colour Patterns
Interactions between humans and plants exist since humans exist. Plants are a vital part of the human ecosystem. Surprisingly, no universally valid scientific terminology for this kind of interaction between humans and plants is determined. Biology and the social science use the term people plant relationships or Ethnobotany for describing their research scope of Human Plant Interaction. Also the art domain deals with blurry definitions. The German art field uses very often the term “botanische Kunst” or “Pflanzenkunst” [Bartel2001]. The English term is mostly “Land Art”, which does not describe artistic approaches with plants very well [KastnerWallis2010]. In Interaction Design it is even more complicated. Some projects are named as natural or organic interfaces based on the applied material. In Human Computer Interaction the term natural or organic interfaces is used completely different. Natural and organic interfaces are strongly connected to tangible and gestural interfaces [ACM2008]. It describes how humans can interact with objects in general. In an interactive art context, plant based artworks in combination with technology is mostly associated to hybrid art, which unfortunately excludes the interactive characteristic of Human Plant Interfaces. In this thesis the problem of a definition of plant based interfaces is solved pragmatically through a new revisited description of plant based interfaces. Read more...

Introduction into Human Plant Interfaces

May 18th, 2014 4 comments

Plant Colour Patterns

Humanity currently finds itself  in a complicated time facing many social challenges and environmental changes. On one hand, we have to deal with limited natural resources and on the other hand we see environmental effects caused by human actions. The relationship between us and our environment has become unbalanced and has influenced all levels of our society [UnitedNations1987, Lovelock1979, Lovelock2006]. This includes our everyday life as well as global politics [Haapoja2010 and LaaschConaway2013, pages 20]. Especially urban landscapes and environments mirror such developments, e.g. the competition about limited resources of habitats. As a result gentrification is an emerging phenomena in an urban communities. Read more...

Categories: english, Plants Tags: , , ,

Books about Plants, Art and Environments

January 25th, 2014 3 comments

Plant Colour Patterns

During my research for my master thesis, I got some nice book recommendations about plants, nature, art and environment.

Natural artworks

These books provide a good overview how plants are used in Fine Arts over the last 100 years. Furthermore, it addresses and describes the environmental impacts of these design and art approaches. Pretty useful for an art history overview.


Visualizing techniques with plants (old)

January 16th, 2014 No comments

Plant Colour Patterns

My old blog post about visualizing data with plants was a summary of related artworks. But for my master thesis, I had to apply a theoretical analysis method. The result is supposed to be a more (scientific) valuable evaluation of visualization techniques with plants. Here is the first version of it.

Nowadays information becomes more pervasive and crucial in a knowledge-based society [1]. Therefore it is important for a society to develop an easy access to communicate meaning and functionality of information [2]. The easiest information access exists in our natural everyday physical environment. Public Screens attempt to address this task. Unfortunately, current public screens hold several disadvantages for our public environment. They need a dedicated flat surface, illuminating their surrounded environments, and address only the visual sense. Furthermore, people often associate public screens with advertisement and pay less attention to them [2]. Therefore, it is rational to investigate information displays beyond the traditional screen-based visualizations. Plants are one of these objects, which are omnipresent in our daily physical environment. For this reason, data sculptures with plants might be an alternative approach to solve the problems of public screens and reach wide audiences. Read more...

Locomotion applied to Plants for Public Spaces (old)

December 26th, 2013 No comments

plant locomotion

The previous chapter "Can plants be music instruments" explored the possibilities of Biosensing with plants. Partially, it reveals some approaches how to translate plant perceptions into electronic signals (e.g. Pulsum Plantae). Movement and locomotion are always connected with perception [Ingensiep2001, p.303; Chamovitz2013, pp. 15] . The perception signal and the movement abilities of a living organism define how the movement will be performed. This interaction has an explosive power in philosophy. Read more...

Visualize data and stories with plants

November 21st, 2013 No comments

Plant Colour Patterns

On my last blog post "Can plants be a music interface" I explored plants as a possible input channel for musical devices. This time, I want to explore plants as a kind of display. Especially, how artists, designers, and engineers can communicate their data and stories through plants. More than a few plant based narrative approaches exist in our culture. They are mostly connected with old traditions and rituals. For instance, the Christmas tree or the Harvest festival (picture) are very common rituals for us. In this article I strongly focus on (Fine) Arts and Design approaches than on ritual driven expressions. The first part is more Fine Art and analog (without technology) oriented and the second part focuses on Design approaches with the support of Technology.



Can Plants be a Music Instrument?

October 8th, 2013 6 comments

Make music with plants

During my research on Human Plant Interfaces I figured out music and sound is a very often used expression for this kind of interaction. As far as I know John Lifton and Richard Lowenberg are one of the first artists that used plants for creating a soundscape. Their installation "Green Music", created for the much discussed movie "The Secret Life of Plants" (movie), uses the approach of bio sensing and converts the signals to synthesized sounds. The visitors can interact with the plants via touch for changing the pitch level of a sound. Read more...

Movies, Documentations, and Talks about Plants

October 3rd, 2013 No comments

Plant Colour Patterns

Sometimes I am really tired and I have absolutely now motivation to read anything. In this mood I really enjoy watching videos. Luckily, I am also kinda addicted to documentation films, which has a positive side effect for my master thesis. Here is a summary of documentation related to plants, which I really enjoyed to watch.