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Credit: Helene Steiner

Helene Steiner (DE)

We’re accustomed to considering nature and technology as polar opposites. Helene Steiner and her associates in the Studio99 research program aim to do away with this diametrical opposition by developing a language humans and plants can use to talk to one another. Florence is the first human-plant interface, a major step forward on the path to direct communication between the natural environment and the technical world.

This communication is based on plants’ capacity to react to different light frequencies; accordingly, light is the medium of human-plant understanding. Florence converts humans’ messages into light signals to the plants. Though they can’t (yet?) comprehend the linguistic information, they nevertheless react in the form of new and unpredictable electrochemical signals.