Talking With Plants by Siyu Sun



Project Description

Talking with Plants(2021) is an interactive bionic artwork based on the Arduino study.  This project simulated the possibility of dialog between humans and plants, to let people empathize with plants. Plants play an important role in the ecosystem, and they account for about 80% of all biomass on the planet. [1] However, most of their feedback is slow, so people always ignore these existences. As the term Plant Blindness offered by Elisabeth Schussler and James Wandress, a botanist and biologist in the United States said,  “the inability to see or notice the plants in one’s own environment, leading to the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs.”

I hope to make plants”conscious” through this bionic plant installation. I used fiber optics and a culture utensil as materials to create the bionic environment. Then used fiber optics, and picked real plants from the forest by roots on three single LEDs to simulate growing plants. The interactive effect here is microphone/sound sensor inputs the sound signal to recognize the volume level, to identify different volume setting signals to light up corresponding color LEDs. After research, plants have a strong sensation, they can distinguish different colors of optical fibers, ultraviolet rays, and red high beams. They can change their physiological conditions according to different light.[2] Based on this concept, I chose LEDs lights for feedback output. So people can see the change situation of plants when they make sounds.



Discussion of Calm Technology Principles

In this work, I was engaging with the first principle  I. Technology should require the smallest possible amount of attention in Calm Technology. I am a firm believer in the principle that less is more. Therefore in this installation, I used a minimalist technique to make the interaction more direct. And through the creation of the environment and concept, I built the appearance of the installation as I wanted, and let the audience as far as they can perceive the thoughts that I expressed.



Experience Video ( 1 minute )



How It Works Video



Final Project Images





Development  Images











Circuit diagram






[1]Jose, Sarah B., et al. “Overcoming Plant Blindness in Science, Education, and Society.” Plants, People, Planet, vol. 1, no. 3, 2019, pp. 169–172.,

[2] BioScience, Volume 53, Issue 10, October 2003, Page 926,[0926:PB]2.0.CO;2