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Exploring The Musical Interface Between Human And Plant Conversations


We think we know the sounds of nature. It is birds chirping, wind through trees, thunder echoing through the valley. However, there are other phenomena in the natural environment that produce sounds we can’t perceive: Plants. Mankind has been advancing towards an era of advanced technology. These technologies enhance our sensory capacity to explore the world’s mysteries. They have become a natural extension of the human senses. Not only have we gained the ability to explore new things, but we are also exploring new modes of creative expression. 

To explore how to visualize these sounds, I designed PlantMax, an interactive interface for plant sound. It combines a GSR sensor with capacitance sensors to capture plant data, which can be processed by a computer and transformed into the sound that the human ear can perceive. Giving plants a voice, a possibility to respond and engage us would lead to new forms of entertainment, enhance our lifestyles and form a new environmental computational platform that can be used to make a “dialogue” between humans and plants.

Undergraduate Thesis


Xiaojia Rong, Yuntuan Li

My Skills

Plant science research

Plant user interface research

Sound design


1. CHI 2023 Workshop: Living Bits and Radical Aminos - A workshop on Bio-Digital Interfaces for HCI

2. IDSA International Design Conference & Education Symposium


-CHI 2023 Workshop presentation

-Project Code


What is PlantMax?

1. PlantMax is a tangible musical interface beyond the graphic interface.

2. PlantMax uses sensor networks to break the traditional interaction experience between people and plants.

3. PlantMax presents invisible plant signals in the form of music, enhancing people's cognition of the world.

Design Motivation


Stereotypical view of the plant world

PlantMax -  Exploring The Musical Interface Between Human And Plant Conversations (1).jpg

Plant Intelligence





Sound Design

Plant signal acquisition

Visualization - Plant original sound

Demo 1 - Texture Synthesizer

Demo 2 - Final Test

Plant Research
Extension: Plant Music Box

PlantMax Mini

PlantMax Mini is an extension of the PlantMax project. It does not use the GSR sensor, but consists of 4 capacitive sensors. Each sensor controls Attack, Delay, Sustain and Release in ADSR respectively.




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