Plants are living organisms and a ubiquitous part of our world, yet, it seems that they are often overlooked as living entities, which may be due to the fact that humans’ and plants’ evolutionary paths have been very different from each other. A brief overview into theory of plants has revealed that plants sense their environment in a myriad of ways and coordinate sensory information into responses to optimize e.g. reproduction and growth (Koller 2011: XIII-XIV). Recent scientific research into plants has revealed that plants have far wider sensory abilities than previously thought. The idea that plants are immobile organisms that do not move nor sense is far away from what scientists claim today (Gagliano 2013). The fact that plants appear immobile to humans is based on the slow speed of plants movement (Mancuso & Viola 2015: 2, 37). When looked at from another angle - we, humans, are limited with our biological faculties to be able to view the movement of the plants. We need to use equipment that extends our abilities, such as time-lapse video-filming that speeds up the plant movements to become available for our perception.


Where many animals have concentrated their most vital functions into a few organs, a plant’s functions are not related to organs as they have dispersed their functions through a modular design to make up for being easy prey. As a result, some plants can have up to 95 percent of themselves eaten and still survive and recover from it (Mancuso & Viola 2015: 34-35). Research within plant neurobiology suggests that plants may have thousands of brain-like entities called meristems, that account for plants’ intelligent behavior (Hall 2011: 147). However, the fact that plants lack any central organization such as a brain, heart or nervous system also make it complex for human beings to understand how they function (Koller 2011: XIII).


There is a growing theoretical field investigating plant movement; in relation to science (for instance in Fromm & Lautner 2007) and in relation to a more functionality-driven aspect of interaction design (Kuribayashi & Wakita 2006). Theorists and scientists together have also investigated how the two types of electrical long-distance signals in plants known as action potentials (AP’s) and variation potentials (VP’s) can be measured and used as an output in relation to technology (Brenner, Stahlberg, Mancuso, Vivanco, Baluska, & Van Volkenburgh 2006: 415). Although research show that plants are sensing and processing information from their surrounding environment, there is not a general agreement on how plant intelligence should be understood (Chamovitz 2012).


It is also evident that humans have invented multiple means to manipulate plants in order to show how a plant is affected by and responds to sensory information initiated by its surrounding world. For example, Professor Dov Koller (2011) has created a framework on different types of plant movement, which has been used as the base of this project’s investigation on plants’ sensorial systems. While many research projects have a focus on scientific research and technicality of the electrical signals, this particular project seeks to investigate a lesser explored aspect of the field; how one can couple these technical solutions to a more explorative design practice.