Plant Facts Plant Fiction, 2010

With backgrounds in graphic and communication, art, product design and engineering, the founders of Troika—Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki, and Sebastian Noel—have become known for work that cuts across a variety of scales. Their work Plant Facts and Plant Fiction builds on earlier concepts developed for the Shanghai Expo in 2010. The individual case studies were designed in collaboration with scientists whose research informed the stories and potential scenarios around these plants. Each example comprises a short descriptive text, detail photography of the plant in question, and a location shot of either the plant in-situ or a site in which the plant might provide specific benefits. Among their memorable ideas is “Could mushrooms hush rooms?” Troika compared the potential for mushrooms to provide insulation and dampen sound to other makeshift noise reducing strategies such as installing egg boxes on the walls of a recording studio. Troika imagined the benefits of this project being applied to high-rise housing developments in which residents live cheek by jowl. Another plausible case in point asks, “Can we cultivate computers?” This question, based on new scientific research, invites inquiry into the potential to grow electrical circuits from a species of fungi that binds heavy metals. Both weird and wonderful, Troika’s work undoubtedly draws on science fiction for inspiration, and yet their unrestrained approach goes beyond traditional notions of artificial plants and flowers that are developed specifically for their aesthetic qualities. Instead, relying heavily on a divine optimism in new hybrid methods and approaches, Troika has created a visionary project that has implications on both an environmental and humanitarian level.

TROIKA. Plant Facts and Plant Fiction (Set of 5), Edition 1 of 3, 2010. Funds provided by the Architecture & Design Society.