Ellie Huang's profile

A Barometric Flower

“Weather changes accompanied by decreases in barometric pressure are suggested to trigger meteoropathy, i.e weather-related pain.” [1] Besides pain, many friends of mine have shared with me their mood fluctuations under the change of weather and barometric pressure. These effects are constantly influencing our emotions, both consciously and unconsciously.

As we as humans are affected by our surroundings, flowers and plants are similarly subjected to changes – in a more sensitive way. For myself, sometimes when I wake up, I could feel not quite comfortable but don’t know why. Flora says could indicate whether our body sensations are under the effect of current barometric pressure. In the way that either a too low or a too high value will cause discomfort on our body. “Ms. Vanos said people are most comfortable with barometric pressure of 30 inches of mercury (inHg). When it rises to 30.3 inHg or higher, or drops to 29.7 or lower, the risk of heart attack increases.” [2]
This flower also serves as a reminder for us to take care of our body feelings, that we should be attentive about our own natural sensors. Our body functions just as how microcontrollers and sensors work, but in a much more delicate and complicated way.

Usage of principles of Calm Technology:
- Technology should require the smallest possible amount of attention
- Technology can communicate, but doesn’t need to speak
- Technology should make use of the periphery

The circuits is embedded inside and below the “pedals”. From a distant angle, Flora says appears to be a normal still decoration instead of technology which actively seeks attention. I initially tried to incorporate servo motors into the scene (motors would spin and when sensor value is beyond abnormal), but it ends up drawing too much attention. Thus the final version has no sound nor movement to create calmness.

As for the usage of periphery, I have utilized materials that are available in the space. Since I just finished quarantine and being in the process of moving-in, my surrounding usable materials are very scarce. Among all my possessions: torn-up packages, paper wrappers, delivery materials and a few household items, I used some translucent wrappers and a new-bought vase to complete the assembling. Resistors were of great help in styling the flower pedals as adhesive.

Development images:

A Barometric Flower

A Barometric Flower