How can houseplants and flowers help visualise environmental violence within the dynamics of urban everyday life? Can this visualisation alter human blindness towards vegetal beings and inspire new acts of interspecies care?

In 1998 scientists Elisabeth Schussler and James Wandersee coined the expression plant blindness to describe “the [human, ed] inability to see or notice the plants in one’s own environment”, or that vegetal matter enters the realm of contemporary anthropic perception as a mere background, as an undistinguishable green mass. 

Now, informed by the pressing climate crisis and pandemic isolation, the 2020s suggest a renewed demand for plants’ presence in urban dwellings, especially indoors. Sales in the houseplants and flowers sector have been cyclically increasing throughout the decades, up to unprecedented levels during the last two years, with a special request for rare and tropical species. But is this newfound attention towards plants  truly reshaping our connection with them? Currently, plants are marginalised on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species (, while plant biodiversity is in a tragic, fast but near-silent decline, and many of the most profitable specimens are still harvested – “poached” – from wildlife, resulting in extinction danger and ecosystem damage. Does their inclusion in our houses automatically lead to broader empathy towards ecosystems, or does it still conceal a structurally brutal behaviour, a framework of beautification and objectification of nature?

This research follows the trails left by human/vegetal interactions in interior landscapes, investigating the ethical and political implications of extensive usage of plants as ornaments, discovering complex constellations of people and institutions acting within this frame, often with contradictory backdrops. Dialogues with plant owners communities, plant sellers, plant conservation institutions and flower designers try to unveil its potential as a tool for raising awareness about systemic environmental violence; while performative/visual experiments imagine houseplants as no longer bloodless, faceless or voiceless, in an attempt to reframe the codes of what is dreadful and violent, testing the disruptive potential of these vegetal presences in the aesthetics of everyday life. If houseplants are witnessing from their urban lookouts horror stories of blind anthropic exploitation, they can inspire us to develop new sensitivities, to take our responsibilities, to exchange tameness with care

The project is ultimately shaped in the form of an open access website, including an original video confession and its extended script, where human perspective is shown cracking under the weight of being aware of our guilt towards these close vegetal companions; the website invites its visitors to collaborate, with the intention to become an ever-growing project, and it is set to be propagated through the plant owners community by both official and disguised actions.

You can access the video and the research, and participate at