Seeing the Same Light


2021

Physical Computing | Critical Design | Web Application 

Media: JavaScript, Particle.IO, Socket.IO and Premiere Pro

Process ︎︎︎
Seeing the Same Light is a collective intervention that explores the coexistence between humans and non-humans (otherwise referred to as nature).

Drawing inspiration from dark ecology, the project redefines the participant’s understanding of ‘nature’ through a process of feedback between the plant and the human.

For the plant to receive the necessary light that it needs, a collective must walk 10km a day and if this is not met, a chrome extension will hinder the usability of each participant’s browser and prompt them to go for a walk. As a result, participants are encouraged to spend time outside looking after their own personal wellbeing and symbiotically looking after the plant’s as well.

Although the interaction might appear reductive, I wanted to avoid existing methods that attempt to shock people into action and which actually have the reverse effect. Instead, my idea adopts a more subliminal approach, one thats aims to encourage rather than scare.
Today’s misconception of ‘nature’ is that it is a system separate from the one humans inhabit. As part of the Anthropocene, society has framed ‘nature’ as a tool, used to support the industries that humans have developed and has resultantly led to a divide between the human world and the non-human world.

To improve the relationship between humans and non-humans, nature must be re-defined, from an object that we gaze upon to a system we are part of. Seeing the Same Light progresses towards this way of living by building a stronger connection between the participants and the plant. 

Design Rationale

Due to the degree of complexity within my idea, the design aims to communicate the interaction in a simple yet succinct manner.

Using a circle as the center point for the interface, its form and colour draws a parallel to the physical shape of the grow light. Depending on how far the collective has walked, the colour of the circle will indicate how close the participants are to turning on the light.

Whilst the concept may be in depth, the experience itself is concise. To emphasize this, the interface uses labil grotesk's varying letterforms to create a unified visual language that is both simplistic yet playful.

“We western people in our artificial technological environments are alienated from immediate natural environments...we should not forget that we are not abstract engineers - that we are part of nature, it is our unfathomable, impenetrable background”

Slavoj Zizek 










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