“Personal Growth” is a piece of speculative design that highlights the disparity of treatment between what man and his capitalist society has deemed a necessity to life, and the thing that actually gives life – nature.
The project exists within an alternative present wherein the promotional structure of a company is based on how well you care for a terrarium and its contents. If you cannot care for it adequately, then you are removed from the company, and if you can, then you are given a more advanced terrarium.
The Project’s (ie. the company’s ) success depends on the perpetuation of negative emotions. Each review is meant to trigger fear and anxiety within each employee. The fear of failure is enough to trigger a parental urge to coddle the plant, and care for it more intently.
Protecting one’s assets is a strong driver for a member of a cut-throat company, and this translates to protecting one’s plant.
By using fear as the primary emotion to be triggered by potential instability, the employees can be far more easily predicted: punishment carries a higher chance for teachable moments, and only then can the carrot replace the stick.