Adaptation: Floral Automaton

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Category: Smart Cities
Artist: Thomas Grogan (GB)
AGILE support partner: Libelium

About the artist:

Thomas Grogan is a French and British artist born in Nottingham (UK), in 1991. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London gaining a master’s degree after graduating from l’École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne. Since 2014 he has been living and working in London.
His work explores the use of product hijacks as a therapeutical instrument by subverting ready made objects through digital and physical interventions. Thomas has exhibited in various group exhibitions and festivals including venues like the V&A, the Roundhouse, the National Theatre, the Southbank Centre and the New Museum.

Twitter: @thomgrog
Instagram: @thomgrog

About the project:

Floral Automaton is a sculptural device that grows flowers digitally. Using various sensors taken from Smart Cities technologies, it reacts and adapts itself to its environment in real time. Sensors are instruments that translate chemical or mechanical stimuli such as light, temperature, gas concentration, speed and vibration across analog and digital sensors into electrical resistors and voltage signal. Using the information collected by several sensors, Floral Automaton interprets our physical ‘decor’ to generate a computational environment. Enclosed within a 2.5 by 2.2 meters frame of steel, various electronic components are attached to a 2.3mm galvanized wire rope. Each of those components is programmed to preserve a balanced meteorological condition in order to display ‘4K time-lapse videos’ of blooming flowers.The information collected by the device becomes a material to mimic biological processes and question the authenticity of our surroundings. Floral Automaton explores the implications when environments become programmable and are made to be operational through sensor technologies.

With the generous help of Frank Kolkman

About the other projects:

  • Fountains tackled concern about water pollution
  • Still Touchable? questioned our relationship with objects in a near future
  • E-Camera – enriched our photos with our own emotions
  • IVI project – architectural experimental design


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