Using speculative design, the project tries to draw attention to the extent to which humanity needs other species – especially plants – in order to survive. The concept is based on a post-humanistic approach to challenge the traditional anthropocentric worldview, which places humans at the center of existence. According to research published in 2023, Israeli scientists claim that plants can emit ultrasonic signals of their needs in stressful situations. These signals can be heard and recorded using special microphones. The designers have made a short film in which they introduce the problem. It takes place in 2131 in a big city affected by industrial air pollution. The people in this city can only get clean air from hundreds of plants growing in their homes. The designers also created an application that is aimed to recognize the plant’s needs using the AI decoding feature and control a smart home according to the plants’ commands. It is a future where humans are no longer in control. For their own survival, they must live their daily lives to meet the needs of plants.

Diana Hubska and Tetiana Tarenkova 

Diana Hubska and Tetiana Tarenkova, students of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, are the authors of the Breath project.