Three fictional plants showing on office table set up
Art Installations

Humans are like Plants

An interactive installation that consists of a series of fictional plants that visualize human personalities, promoting empathy and understanding by emphasizing the differences in how individuals with different personalities emote and handle situations.


Alina Liu


Sharon De La Cruz


The "Humans are like Plants" project was created as a response to societal pressures on individuals. As an introverted person, I faced questions like "Why don't you be more outgoing?" or "Why don't you speak up more?" This pressure to conform to a certain personality type left me feeling self-conscious and traumatized. Presented as a speculative lab called HALP, "Humans are like Plants" offers a plant design and cultivation service to participants who have faced similar situations. We can generally accept plants' different beauties and value them without questioning or changing them. In the same way, our social environment detects how we present ourselves and finds the best place for us, just as plants find a place to live in the ecosystem. Through visualizing their personalities as plants, participants in HALP can better understand and accept themselves while promoting empathy and understanding towards those with different personalities. The process helps individuals embrace their uniqueness and recognize the value of diverse personality types.

Three fictional plants showing on office table set up


The project utilizes the big five personality traits model as the basis. This model analyzes personality from five dimensions: conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness. Rather than classifying traits as black and white categories, the model views traits as existing along a spectrum. This allows for a more nuanced understanding of human personalities. Plant features pictures and verbal descriptions are mapped onto this personality spectrum to help me better understand and visualize personalities. For example, for the openness trait, on the left side of the spectrum, the Springlike tendrils are mapped as an example of a more curious and explorative expression of personality, because it can sense and respond to even the slightest stimuli, making them highly sensitive to their environment.

Technical Details

A fictional plant with a flower bud top and a big eyeball, representing an introverted personTwo data form samples of HALP labA fictional plant with red and yellow color