The main driver behind the concept is to offer us a respite amidst the torrent of alerts and demands smart devices subject us to. Instead, what if we were presented with something which required nothing from us? Something which only offered us a chance for contemplation. Something whose content was not data but life – and beauty.
The idea is utterly simple: in each Galaxy device, there grows a unique flower. When the user registers their smartphone, tablet or smartwatch, they receive a seed containing a unique, randomised genome. And from this seed their own Flower of Galaxy sprouts.
It starts as a small sapling and makes a tiny bud within a week. After one month, it blooms for the first time. As weeks pass, the flower grows bigger, blooming again every month on the same day it was planted.
- Dezeen article about the competition including a little interview with me
- Dezeen article about Garden of Galaxy
- Samsung Mobile Design Competition 2019
Unique Generative Flowers
Each flower is different. They are three-dimensional models generated by an algorithm based on real plant morphology. Their appearance is dictated by three factors:
- the unique collection of randomly generated genes in the seed
- a favourite colour optionally selected by the user, and
- the flower’s age
The proof-of-concept images displayed below are just some exemplars from an as-of-yet rather limited set of possibilities. They are defined by merely one-hundred genes, which are completely randomised. There still are a few quirks, but they serve to demonstrate that ”nature”, if you will, can well do her work untouched.
Three Cycles of Change
The flowers follow three interlocking cycles of change. The first is the diurnal cycle of day and night: The flower droops its leaves by night and basks in the sun by day. Moreover, when it rains, water drops gather on the leaves and petals only to fall off once the device is shaken.
The intermediate cycle is that between bud and bloom. The flower blooms each month on the same day it was planted.
Finally, there is the whole life cycle of the plant. With each month the flower grows a bit, possibly branching at some point. But as with all things in life, it, too, will reach the end of its time withering beautifully and passes on. And then the cycle begins anew as a new, slightly different specimen grows from the same seeds.
The flowers are not confined to their home garden. An ecosystem, if you will, will be created around them. You can send cuttings to your friends for them to grow in their own Gardens of Galaxy.
To mark your friend’s birthday, you can make a bouquet of the flowers in your garden and send it to her. Or you can even cross-breed the flowers you have with each other to get new, unique specimens, and so on.
Garden of Galaxy is currently in a proof-of-concept stage and not yet available for Galaxy devices. The next phase is to rewrite the code for use on mobile devices. Stay tuned for updates.