Images courtesy of Andrew Harmon
Andrew Harmon, a student at Northern Michigan University, came up with an intriguing design. Titled "Growth Plate," the idea is to blend the natural world into technologies which don't typically feel all that natural, such as turning on the lights or plugging electronics into wall sockets. Because these technologies do in fact have a very direct impact on the natural environment, Harmon figured, why not bring the outside in and require people to interact with it.
Harmon states, "Growth Plate is a manifestation of the hybrid environment studied in urban ecology. By forcing contact with living representatives of this environment, Growth Plate furthers awareness of their existence. This awareness cultivates an increased sensitivity to the subtleties of these systems thereby encouraging more informed interactions with them. These interactions in turn grow a sense of direct interaction and participation in the immediate environment."
As Yanko Design points out, "The subtle reminder serves not only as a representative of green-living, but as an aesthetically creative and whimsical accent."
Indeed, "whimsical" is the key word. The idea of having plants growing in and around wires is not exactly practical, and the only way this could actually work is if the plants were air plants, which require no water, have practically no root system, and seem to live on via magic. Mosses and other plants won't exactly work well. But if the right casing were devised, then this could indeed be an interesting idea for reminding us about what we're affecting each time we draw power from the grid.
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