Posts Tagged ‘Interaction’

Locomotion applied to plants for Public Spaces

June 15th, 2014 20 comments

plant locomotion

The previous chapter explored the possibilities of biosensing with plants. Partially, it reveals some methods for translating plant perceptions into electronic signals (e.g. “Pulsu(m) Plantae”). Movement and locomotion are always connected with perception [Ingensiep2001, page 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.  These two abilities (perception and movement) determine the differences between plants and animals. More or less, the latest scientific findings reveal that plants are able to perceive their environment and react on these circumstances [Chamovitz2013]. These results cast doubts on our philosophical classification of plants and animals. This topic has an enormous impact for our ethical consciousness. If we put plants and animals to an almost equal level, than we cannot destroy and treat plants like we used to do. It is important to have this background for understanding the ideas behind the listed artworks. Furthermore, I will focus on the locomotion capabilities of plants and less on their movement capabilities. The artistic expression related to movement and kinetic gestures were discussed in “3.1. Visualizing techniques with plants”.


Biosensing for Human Computer Interactions

June 14th, 2014 25 comments

After the analysis of “Visualizing techniques with plants”, we will explore interactions for human computer interaction (HCI) through plants. The objectives of this research are revealing technical approaches and which kind of interaction can be performed.

Interactions between humans and computer is usually implemented by sensors. In 2009 Dan Saffer defined a sensor for human computer interaction like this:


A sensor is typically an electrical or electronic component whose job is to detect changes in the environment [Saffer2009, page 13].


We are surrounded by plants and plants are able to sense changes in our environment. The increasing problem with our environment forces us to reconsider our usage of technology. Hybrid solutions between natural resources and our current technology is able to decrease our current environmental issues [ICC2007, pages 15-21]. For this reason, it is obvious to explore the plant abilities of sensing for HCI. The sensor belongs to the basic components of any gestural system, which is used in HCI applications [Saffer2009, page 13]. In our context we replace the common electronic sensor with a plant. An additional electronic circuit translates these bio signals into electronic computer-readable signals. Accordingly to this approach, the gestural system is completed again. Read more...

Visualizing techniques with plants for Interaction Design

June 2nd, 2014 20 comments

Nowadays information becomes more pervasive and crucial in a knowledge-based society [ZhaoMoere2008]. Therefore it is important for a society to develop an easy access to communicate meaning and functionality of information [MoereOffenhuber2009]. 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 [MoereOffenhuber2009]. 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. The following artworks are interpreted as the next development steps of the contemporary plant-based artworks from chapter 2.3 “Ethnobotany”. In this stage electronic and digital technology is applied to plants.

Within the scope of my research I will present a qualitative evaluation of visualizing techniques with plants. The evaluation model is based on the comparison methods developed by Andrew Vande Moere, Dietmar Offenhuber [MoereOffenhuber2009], and as well as Matthew Brehmer, and Tamara Munzner (2013) [BrehmerMunzer]. The evaluation result reveals their visual encoding techniques, and which characteristic of data they visualize. Furthermore, the outcome assigns approaches of creating more intriguing, and easy memorable visualizations. Read more...


May 31st, 2014 5 comments


Humans use their knowledge about plants and their ecology for enhancing their life quality. Their accomplishments related to plant cultivation is associated to the botany discipline horticulture. That includes activities from the fields of science, technology, and business. Horticulture incorporates the tasks and services of food production, plant conservation, horticulture therapy, landscape restoration, landscape and garden design. All the human endeavours towards horticulture serve the goal of developing and maintaining human health and well-being.

Horticulture is strongly connected with gardening and should not be distinguished with agriculture. Agriculture is usually organized in large fields that grow only one plant species (mono culture). Furthermore, gardens are in most cases isolated from its environment. A common field is not protected by a fence or other construction. Moreover, agriculture makes heavy use of big machines for cultivating their plant growth and food production. The last and another important difference between horticulture and agriculture is the lack of an appealing design practice in agriculture [Nemitz2000, page 173]. Read more...

Plant Ecology

May 18th, 2014 7 comments

Dead objects and living organisms are all involved in a physical environment. Nothing exist without an embedded context. The same rules apply to plants as well as for other things. In this chapter we will explore the ecologic conditions in which plants are embedded. Ecology is described as:


Categories: english, Plants Tags: , ,

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...

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.


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...

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:


Nature – Documents of Contemporary Art (Plants interfaces)

February 20th, 2013 No comments

During my research on Human Plant Interfaces I stumbled on the book "Nature" published by MIT Press and the Whitechapel Gallery. It is a collection of texts (essays, interviews, etc.) about the Contemporary Art history related to the topic Nature. This book is a nice inspiration source for every artist, scientist, developer who is dealing with nature. In my special case I was mainly interested into plants. You can read a short summary of my readings for my master thesis in Human Plant Interfaces: Read more...