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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Ethnobotany

May 27th, 2014 30 comments

Plant Colour Patterns

The term Ethnobotany consists of the two words “ethno” and “botany”. The word “ethno” is attributed to people, culture, aesthetic, language, knowledge, and practice. Botany describes the study of plants. The combination of these words, the scientific discipline Ethnobotany, investigates the relationships between humans and plants.

Since the beginning of humananity, the human-beings depended on botanical knowledge for surviving [Flagler1994, page 4]. Ethnobotany documents and characterizes this gathered knowledge of plants in various cultures. The research fields include documentations about food, medicine, construction, textiles, rituals, art and others. The comprehensive scope of research topics assigns Ethnobotany to a classical multi-disciplinary study. The interdisciplinary team of scientists must have knowledge in botany for identification of plant species, anthropologic knowledge for describing the cultural scope, and a linguistic training for transferring the local terms to the scientific community.

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Plant Physiology

May 18th, 2014 18 comments

Plant Colour Patterns

Over thousand and thousand years plants developed a complex sensory and regulatory system [Chamovitz2013, page 4]. Their inability of locomotion forced them to become masters in an adaptive development. Therefore, it is obvious to research plant functions in more detail. This chapter adopts the content structure from Daniel Chamovitz’s book “What a plant knows” [Chamovitz2013]. He compared the plant sensory system with the human system. In relation to Human Plant Interfaces this structure is very useful to present the most obvious differences between the human and the plant sensory system. The starting sections will explore the senses see, smell, touch and hear. Afterwards, the following sections will investigate the plant ability of orientation and memory. This summary mentions only the basics of plant physiology related to this thesis based artistic research. For more details about plant physiology, the book “Physiology and Behaviours of Plants” by Peter Scott (2008) is a very good recommendation and for a regular basis the Journal Plant Signaling & Behavior is highly recommended. Read more...

Categories: english, Plants Tags: , ,

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.

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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.

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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...

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.

**** UPDATE NEW VERSION HERE ****

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My most important Twitter Messages #16

July 1st, 2013 No comments

Twitter von der hess

A small summary of my Twitter messages from February 2013- June 2013:

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Kleine Linksammlung zu Physical Computing für Jung und Alt

March 25th, 2013 No comments

Physical computing Linksammlug

Für einen Kollegen mußte ich neulich eine kleine Linksammlung über die Maker Szene in Deutschland zusammen stellen. Die Liste ist sicherlich nicht vollständig, liefert dennoch meiner Meinung eine gute Orientierungshilfe in Sachen Physical Computing. Bin um jede weitere Quelle sehr dankbar, daher bitte benutzt die Kommentar Funktion und ergänzt diesen Artikel mit weiteren Quellen bzw. Anlaufstellen.

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