Back to the Roots : Re-Connecting Humanity and the Natural World by Merging Interactive Technology and Plants

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för konst, kultur och kommunikation (K3)

Abstract: This thesis project explores combining interactive technology and the natural world, through a more-than-human design approach. This project aims to step away from an industry-driven design by valuing plants as equal in the design process. Throughout this report, an overview of the relevant theory and examples are elaborated on. This overview has informed the project in two ways. It formed the foundation of a concept aiming to improve the user’s interconnectedness with nature and it formed the foundation of an evaluation tool developed for aiding designers in design for plants by addressing three design fields: Design for Care, Design for Cohabitation, and Design for Noticing. The concept and the evaluation tool have been developed in parallel and informed each other throughout the project. The final concept contributes to the discussion about addressing more-than-human actors in design. In this case by addressing plant blindness. The evaluation tool contributes to more-than-human design as a tool to evaluate ideas and projects. This project included an extensive analysis of a design collection, workshops regarding the materiality of living plants and assessment of the evaluation tool, an interdisciplinary design approach, and a prototyping phase during which assumptions regarding the concept were tested.

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