by Elena Bauer
This project started as a research on the near impossibility to communicate with plants. If we can’t communicate, can we nonetheless design things with the help of living plants? Exploring these topics, I experimented with garden cress seeds, handmade paper, drawings and time-lapse photography.
Plants are vital for our existence on earth but most of the time we consider them something closer to a rock than to a living organism. They use a hormonal system instead of a nervous system which means they are really slow compared to us. Their way of communicating mostly through biochemical signals makes it hard to translate the ‘language’ of the plants into something we can perceive or understand. In my project I explored this idea of human-plant communication and learned about it’s difficulties. I then decided on a more moderate approach. What can come out of an – admittedly somewhat forced – design collaboration of plants and humans? Something beautiful? Some kind of symbiosis? Or exploitation? As a final experiment I made paper by hand and included seeds that can sprout and thus complete the design.
This video highlights the different “time dimensions” humans and plants live in: