Comparing plants with people. Compare certain qualities/ characteristics. This allows you to 'connect' a certain 'type' of person to a 'types' of plants.

Certain characteristics to compare of human / plant;

- Behavior (growth), for example the tendril that clings to an object.
- Food / nutrition
- Energy
- Reaction to situations (e.g. closed / open flower)
- 'Flowering' period (for people, period of growth)
- Color (mood)
- Power
- How they 'relate' to others (environment or towards others people e.g. relationship)

- Appearance

For the 'type' of people, I use the Enneagram, which describes nine types of people.

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is an ancient model. The name in Greek means both “nine points” and “movement”. People think that it was a few thousand years ago originated in the Middle East. Because it is so old, the model gets something mystical and mysterious. Don't let is stop you. It is still a current and useful method to gain more insight into yourself. The Enneagram describes nine different types of people. They are distinguished by their patterns of thinking, feeling and doing. The Enneagram tells you something about your strengths and weaknesses and your motives. It is therefore often used by managers to gain more insight into the people they lead and to make people work better together.

Nine types of people;

- The Achiever
- The Helper
- The Performer
- The Romantic
- The Observer
- The Guardian
- The Optimist
- The Leader
- The Peacemaker

After plants are linked to types of people you would be able to test the outcome. Simply by using the Enneagram, see what type of person someone is and then see if he / she has a type of plant / flower as a favorite or find can point out as 'nicest' out of different images and see if this is indeed also 'connected' to this type of person.

Description of nine types of people;
1. Achiever: wants to do good things and improve

“You can also call me a control freak. I want things to be perfect and I'm very critical. Also to myself. I always have a voice in my head that says it can be better, needs to be better! I'm bad at handling things that are not perfect, then I get angry. Luckily I can control myself well, because the loss of control, is not accepted. I'm terribly annoyed by people that don't care about or put effort into things.”

My strong points: I have a lot of discipline, I'm reliable, orderly, and idealistic.

My weaknesses: I tend to be overly critical and demanding. Moreover, I can be formal and impatient.

I should learn: • to handle my irritation and anger, • dare to make mistakes, • to have more contact with my emotions, • that there are more ways than only the correct one.

2. Helper: wants to be loved or will be

“I'm always ready for everyone. This is what I'm good at, because feeling what people need is my second nature. I sometimes tend to efface myself. It's hard for me to say no when someones asks me for help. I enjoy helping out someone and mean something to the person! The attention and appreciation that I get in return for that, make me happy. I cannot stand suffering and strife and fights, because others will be hurt. Asking myself for something is difficult, I often poorly know what I need and also don't like to ask for help. I prefer to give.”

My strong points: I am helpful, sensitive, good at establishing and maintaining relationships, enthusiastic and tactful.

My weaknesses: I can also be invasive and possessive. If you don't appreciate me, I will start to complain, get needy and jealous.

I should learn: • that also I have own needs and feelings, • to accept myself, so I am less dependent on the approval of others, • do something for myself without caring about another.

3. Performer or successful worker: wants to be successful

“I am the type that really goes for it. Life for me is a race that I want to win by being the best and achieving things. I work hard for my goals. I put ideas immediately into action. Speed and efficiency are my strength. I know how to present myself, and I'm confident in my performance. Sometimes people think of me as arrogant. I can not stand when other people get in-between me and my goals. The idea of not succeeding and that I fail, is my greatest fear. I make sure I do everything to prevent these kind of things.”

My strong points: I am passionate, efficient, practical, focused, optimistic and decisive.

My weaknesses: I can be selfish, ignore the feelings of others and be very impatient.

I should learn: • To cooperate, • to trust others.

4. Romantic or individualist: wants to understand and express themselves

“I'm an real emotional person, feelings are important to me. Life for me is a series of ebbs and flows. Others often find me overly dramatic. Ideally I do things my own way, often this makes me an outsider. I do not like the ordinary , or everyday: I'm just an artist. I love depth and style. I would if everything would be authentic. In relationships I look for someone who really wants to know who I am.”

My strong points: I am original, creative, authentic, sensitive - romantic even - and involved.

My weaknesses: I can be emotionally out of balance, hypersensitive and exaggerate.

I should learn: • stick to the facts, • to see matters in perspective and in the right proportions, • making goals.

5. Observer or perceiver: wants to understand the world around them and feel competent

“I am analytical and sober, I argue everything in a logical way. I like to keep an emotional distance: it's all about the facts. I collect lots of information and knowledge and think a lot. I organize things, until I understand them and when they fit, I put them in my frame of reference. Because I'm so focused on understanding things, I'm often a real specialist. Ostentation and comfort are not as important to me.”

My strong points: I'm astute and independent, good in considering things and stay calm almost all the time.

My weaknesses: I can be chill, greedy and emotionless. Sometimes I can close myself from the outside world and look down from my ivory tower.

I should learn: • to be proactive, • to stand for the things I believe in, • listen to my body, intuition and feelings, • put limits if the amount of information gets too much for me.

6. Guardian or loyalist: wants security and safety

“I do my duty. I like to stick to the rules, they're not made for nothing. I see everything that can possibly go wrong. The world is full of dangers and nobody can be trusted for one hundred percent. That sometimes makes me anxious and it makes it difficult for me to take decisions. I doubt a lot, especially to myself. I am very seriously and have a tendency to take things too literally. ”

My strong points: I am trustworthy, loyal, a real go-getter and have a great feel of responsibility.

My weaknesses: I am suspicious, can be dogmatic and start to doom-mongering (doemdenken). I also do not like change that much.

I should learn: • think into perspective and to be less gloomy, • to believe in my own capabilities, • dare to go with the flow.

7. Optimist or enjoyer of life: want happy, happy and satisfied

“Life is a party! I like to enjoy the beautiful things of life. I prefer to avoid pain, by looking on the bright side. If someone is sad, I'm the one who cheers him up. I happen to be really optimistic, why make things so heavy and seriously? The world is full of opportunities: I'm always looking for something new, something nicer, something more exciting. Planning for the future is my passion and lust of life, that's why I often don't get to doing deeds.”

My strong points: I am spontaneous and charming, optimistic, lively and playful.

My weaknesses: I can be superficial, impulsive, irresponsible, narcissistic and lose myself in unrealistic dreams.

I should learn: • to temper my enthusiasm now and then, • to be more involved with others, • to also execute my plans • to be more down to earth to be.

8. Leader or boss: wants to protect oneself by being strong and full of confidence

“I am not afraid for anyone or anything. I like going into battle, especially for power. Actually, I prefer being the boss. I don't take it so closely with rules and laws, that I will decide myself. Therefore it's hard for me to accept when another person is stronger than me. Sometimes I see things a little bit black and white : something is either right or wrong. This way I go straight towards my goals. I react instinctively : I can suddenly become very angry and will express the same also. Fortunately I can lose this feeling quickly. In my way of speaking my whole body goes with it. Others will find me overwhelming and sometimes feel that they get no space from me.”

My strong points: I am powerful, righteous, protective, generous and independent.

My weaknesses: I can be intimidating, egocentric and blunt. Sometimes I'm downright vindictive.

I should learn: • to be more social, warmer and more human, • to be more open to others, • to be more caring.

9. Peacemaker or mediator: wants to live in unity and harmony with others

“I like to look at things from all sides. Let everyone have their way. I don't like conflicts, I'd rather avoid them. I prefer to keep the peace. Because I see pros and cons with everything, it's difficult for me to take decisions. What I'm good at is negotiating, because I also keep others interests in mind. I don't like being in a rush or busy. So it takes me a while to get started. But once I'm on steam, I am a go-getter. I hate fakeness and inflated egos. I tend to be somewhat cynical.”

My strong points: I am diplomatic, able to negotiate, am humble, I can adjust and am harmonious.

My weaknesses: sometimes I'm boring, easily distracted, forgetful or indecisive.

I should learn: • to take my own position and to act accordingly, • to set priorities and make choices.


Characteristics human / plant comparison;


1. Perfectionist: wants to do good things and improve

human characteristics
- Perfection (when something goes wrong, they 'shut down/ close' to re-start)
- Red
- Serenity
- Fighting (for self preservation)

(translated to) plant characteristics
- Plant/ flower that blooms in several seasons and is attractive to the eye
- Red (hue)
- Pure and radiates calmness
- 'Fights' for lasting flowering (is resistant to different weather conditions). Also, red plants get red by iron.

Name: Geranium cinereum var. subcaulescens
Dutch name: ooievaarsbek
(look up the picture of plant)

Exuberant flowers, flowering from June to September Purple-red, dark red to bloodred flowers with distinctive black eye. Can we imagine a plant-inspired human culture? Through the outcome of this study prescribing therapies / medication? Or a new look on selecting flowers as a gift?


- Why work with, or learn from plants?

- What would a plant-inspired human culture be like?

- How would you design a story about a vegetal culture, that 'can evolve through your daily life and the physical spaces around you?


Keywords to look at;

- Photosynthesis
- Autotroph
- Heterotroph

- Organic and inorganic compound

Characteristics 'life functions' in biology;

In biology, a list of characteristics (also called life functions) is used to indicate when one speaks of life. Thereby something will be considered as alive if it has all or the most of these life-functions:

1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.
2. Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
3. Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
4. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.
5. Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
6. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism) and by chemotaxis.
7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.
Further clarification Of life can be discussed if there is a process going from the beginning (fertilization) until the end (death), although this does not apply to bacteria: these bacteria multiply by cell division. An organism has a metabolism and works autonomously. (..)

- Can be unicellular and multicellular
- Virtually all of the plants are making their own nutrients to, by means of photosynthesis, and other assimilation techniques.

Main characteristics
- A cell membrane, and cell wall
- A cell nucleus
- Usually a big vacuole in the middle of the cell
- Chloroplasts, in here the typical process of photosynthesis occurs
- Mitochondria and other organelles

Organic compounds

Substances of organisms or products of organisms.

Inorganic compounds

Substances of both organisms as from lifeless nature (e.g. minerals).


Organisms that construct their organic compounds from inorganic compounds. e.g. All plants, algae and some bacteria.


Organisms that build their organic compounds from (other) organic compounds. e.g. Animals, most bacteria and fungi.

Mixotroph organisms

Can be both heterotrophic or autotrophic and function correctly.


When an organism by photosynthesis makes use of sunlight for obtaining the required energy.


When there's made use of of oxidation processes of inorganic compounds for obtaining the required energy.

Everything else about this project can be found on the website
  • project_groworld_humanplantcharacteristics.txt
  • Last modified: 2012-03-18 12:00
  • by cocky