Exhibited December 2015–March 2016
If plants could talk
Project Florence is an artistic interpretation of a future world where nature and humans can communicate and co-exist in greater harmony. If plants could talk to us, what would they say? Equally important, if people could converse with them, how might plants respond? Asking these questions, Project Florence combines biology, natural language research, design, and engineering to enable people and plants to converse.
Natural language processing components translate Project Florence visitors' sentiment, expressed in text, into a light frequency the plant can recognize and respond to. A red-light spectrum, which encourages plant cells to grow, represents positive sentiment and encourages plant cells to grow. For negative sentiment, a blue light is projected, which in effect turns off cells' ability to expand.
About the artist
Helene Steiner is a UK-based designer and researcher focusing on new interactions with our natural environment. Her research follows a biological approach and looks at opportunities to not only bridge the physical and digital world but also bridge the natural and artificial. Her background is in product design with an MDes from the Bauhaus University in Weimar.
During time in Vienna, she studied under Professor Hartmut Esslinger, founder of frog design, to explore the opportunities of extending our bodies with technology and prosthetics. This experience led to her earning an MA and MSc in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College in London.Artist website