Vegetated Mass

Ongoing collaboration between two friends, Cody Markelz and Matthew Harlan, combining plant biology data with artistic and architectural representational techniques.  By training Cody is a genetic biologist, Matthew is a graphic designer, and I am an architect.  We wanted to collaborate and have been finding ways to do so in different scales and media for the past few years.  

First we found ways to translate plant data from its raw form into 3-Dimensional structures.  Some of these were digital, some physical, some time-based representations of growth, and some abstract models.

The latest project has been to produce a prototypical interactive installation.  A Kinect hand-tracking system is used to control the genotype of a plant in order to demonstrate concepts of plant competition.  The final project would allow for multiple audience members to control the phenotypes of different plants as they grow.  A game of direct interaction in which a user directs a plant to either grow bigger leaves, longer stems, or deeper roots in a bid to outperform their neighbors for limited nutrient, sun, and water resources.