Plant Radio: Tuning in to Plants by Combining Posthumanism and Design
DIS’22: ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS)
Session: design theory & Critical design
The Plant Radio is an electronic device that makes it possible to perceive how (and that) a plant responds to its environment. The device works by artificially amplifying the EMG signals of a plant. Aesthetically, it builds on the metaphor of the radio broadcast receiver that allows for tuning in to intangible signals sent through the air. By drawing on mediation theory and making tangible the otherwise hidden signals of plants, the Plant Radio exploratively seeks to reconfigure the relationship between plants and humans by allowing new relations to form. In this pictorial, we present the design of the Plant Radio, and we discuss how the Plant Radio serves as a materialization of the posthuman theories that form the backdrop of this project. In doing so, we expand on the design process of the artifact, specifically unfolding the discussions when deciding not to include a power button.
Video Presentations of DIS 2022