Plants as a visualization medium

by Aurélien Tabard
on November 16, 2018

In this workshop we will explore how plants can be used to visualize data. Groups will design plant-based visualizations, to convey information about air, soil or water quality. Each group will use one of two approaches:

  1. Plants as bio-indicators. Here, the work will focus on designing paper or digital legends that enable lay people to “see” what plants can reveal about their immediate environment. We will use lichens as our main bio-indicator.
  2. Digitally mediated plant growth. Here, the work will focus on encoding data by controlling plants development. We will use arduinos to control water intake, light, or air flow to control plants’ shape or growth. Participants with experience in synthetic biology will be invited to sketch possible applications to plant-based visualization.

The workshop will start with a short introduction (15 min), followed by thematic group formation (15 min), hands-on work (70 min), and short presentations at the end (20 min). We will provide resources and materials to get started quickly.

About Aurélien Tabard

Aurélien Tabard is assistant professor in Computer Science at Université de Lyon. His work in Human Computer Interaction is structured around three key themes: 1. Understanding and expanding scientific computational notebooks; 2. Making activity a primary computational element, that can be manipulated like files and applications are today; and 3. Supporting situated visualization design, i.e. visualizations that are strongly tied to their environment.