Plants have the ability to communicate through the air, sending messages by releasing chemical molecules. Air Culture proposes a new use of these natural compounds. Living plants combined with technology can provide us with personalized air, enriched with specific chemical properties. This enriched air can have different impacts on our physical and psychological well-being, depending on the plant species, its environmental conditions and the life cycle of the plant. Air Culture is an interdisciplinary project in between design and science, technology and nature. It involves different fields of research: Plant Neurobiology (also called Plant Behaviour and Communication), Pharmacognosy (the study of medicinal drugs derived from plants), Chemistry and Aromacology. By connecting these different fields, design can stimulate future research and connect the human aspect together with scientific knowledge to bring up new realities that address latent needs. Air is one of the most effective mediums of interaction and communication for plants. Acknowledging plants’ volatile emissions and their chemical vocabulary will not only change the way we relate to plants but also the way we perceive and consume air. Air culture is a starting point to question the value of air, and propose a future scenario where volatile emissions from plants become part of our daily lives, a new habit that we incorporate into our routine. What if in the future, the same way we farm for food we will farm for air?
Photo by Femke Rijerman