reEarth: Hortum Machina B – Half Garden, Half Machine

Researchers at the Interactive Architecture Lab have launched project reEArth. It’s first creation,Hortum Machina B, is a kinetic garden that wires the primitive intelligence of plant behavior into a robotic ecosystem. All images and videos are courtesy of the Interactive Architecture Lab. 

Led by  and , the team at the Interactive Architecture Lab have just released project reEarth with the creation of Hortum Machina B, a mix between a machine and a garden in one big geodesic sphere.

Both an exoskeleton and an ecological ecosystem, the geodesic sphere is made up internally of twelve garden modules that carry native British species. The modules are each attached to outwardly-extending arms, that expand and compress, changing the gravitational center of the sphere, thus forcing the sphere to move.

The modules are interconnected to the plants frequencies, which change while reading the environment. The changes of frequencies cause the modules to auto-regulate and search, if needed, for better ecosystems. In other words, the sphere detects the needs of the plants and moves around looking for the best places depending on the heat, humidity, air and other climate conditions.

Hortum Machina B – Half Garden, Half Machine

We know this is hard to digest, but let the researchers help you out. “Plants have no nervous system but use electricity to transmit signals as all living things do. In this project, a surface contact electrode was used to measure the signals, a signal amplifier to convert them into readable measurements, and they were ultimately mapped to frequencies in order to create a voice for the plant.”

About IAL

The Interactive Architecture Lab is a Masters Program and research group at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. It explores the Behavior and Interaction of Things, Environments and their Inhabitants.

For more information:

Visit the website of the reEarth project by the Interactive Architecture Lab


All images, videos, multimedia and quotes are courtesy of the Interactive Architecture Lab.

Founder of Offcyclers + Overall Sustainable Design geek. When Diego isn't scouting for the most incredible Sustainable Design & Art, he is probably trotting the globe, photographing or filming any story he thinks needs to be told.

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