The human touch is no stranger to interacting with nature. Feeling the grass beneath our feet or hand leaves behind a sense of relief and allows for individuals to just concentrate on touch. It is considered that gardening is therapeutic and is often seen as an activity in assisted living centers. Those who are unable to benefit from this activity, such as hospitalized children and the mentally and physically disabled are stripped of the leisure. Touchology is a series of interactive projects that evokes serenity by exploring the meditative quality of touch with plants (real or artificial) that can be accessible at home or indoors. Since Touchology projects keep all the necessary components in a small container, this can be placed anywhere at ease of the user and extend her experience with nature in a unique way.
One of the Touchology projects, Flora Touch, utilizes a small potted plant and a base with the electronic components. It generates ambient audio-visualization responding to human’s gentle touch of a plant. Another project, Grass is also a touch responsive installation. Grass consists of a field of fiber optics that look like grass and electronic components including LEDs and speakers in a base container. Users can explore different nature sounds (water, wind, bird, and cricket) and LED lighting patterns projected on the tips of optical fibers by touch.
Touchology investigates how touch-sensitive, interactive plants can generate an emotional attachment with the user and how the relationship affects their quality of life in different conditions. Since Touchology uses real and artificial plants, we carefully choose plants based on scientific evidences. Researchers found that gently rubbing leaves of thale cress plants between thumb and forefinger can activate defense mechanism in the plant, making it more resistant to Botrytis cinerea, the fungus that causes grey mold. We are trying to build reciprocal relationships between human and plant through touch.

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