- Website: http://www.nextnature.net
After the successful introduction of the NANO Supermarket in 2010 it became even more clear that the contest and the presented results produced discussions and many challenges to think about. Nanotechnology, will it be the road to utopia or dystopia? Heaven or hell? Nanotechnology could bring us wellness, unthought-of possibilities, maybe a release of nearly all misery the earth faces. Maybe, but without proper thought Nanotechnology can become the work of a sorcerer’s apprentice and we will be exposed to disasters of worldwide proportion. So potentially, the consequences can be so large and undefined that both incredible solutions to the main problems we face can be realized, or on the other hand we will be confronted with horrifying scenarios. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that Nanotechnology is subject to thorough discussion. And although the designs featured in the Nanosupermarket are not realistic yet, it is way too easy and even dangerous to consider they are only the fruits of fantasy, ‘funny but silly’. It is of great importance to think both critically and creatively.
With Energy Belt, stop treating your excess fat like a liability, and instead embrace its untapped potential. Artificial protocells in the belt mimic natural brown fat, taking the energy from white fat and converting it into ATP. This chemical energy can be used to power everything from cell phones to pacemakers. Eat what you want at dinner, and give up that gym membership for good. Energy Belt cuts down on electricity costs while you cut down on size.
From the NANO Supermarket product collection. Designer: Emmy van Roosmalen. Enabling technology: Nano transporters, metabolic engineering. Feasibility: Medium.
This morning we received an astounding video from a group of animal right activists that broke in at Rayfish Footwear, the Thai based fashion brand that creates $1500 personalized sneakers from genetically engineered stingray leather.
The amateur recording (turn volume down before playing) shows the anonymized activists plundering the fish breeding facility of the company, while ‘rescuing’ the stingrays. At the end of the video the fish are released in the ocean.
Rayfish.com was launched some months ago with a contest that invited people to design their own stingray patterns. The most beautiful designs where grown on the skins of the transgenic fish and turned into personalized stingray leather shoes. Some of the happy winners had already received their pair of Snaketongue, Flamingo Zebra or Golden Dalmatian shoes.
Earlier its CEO Raymond Ong gave a lecture at our Next Nature Power Show in which he unfolded his groundbreaking biocustomization technique. Although there where many enthusiastic responses there was also much controversy around the company. Seems some of the hard core protesters now decided to take action.
We have tried to contact Rayfish Footwear to confirm the robbery, but haven’t been able to reach them. At this moment there is no mentioning of the break-in on the Rayfish blog, nor on their Facebook, or Twitter pages. To be continued…
Design fiction for the masses. Our NANO Supermarket was presented in the Dutch television show RTL Koffietijd (coffeetime). If you belong to the exquisite 5% visitors of this website that indulges in Dutch language: enjoy the interview Koffietijd presenter Pernille La Lau did with Koert van Mensvoort.
For the 95% non-dutch visitors we simply repeat: Design fiction for the masses!
During the coming weeks, we present a selection of our favorite pages from the Next Nature book. This week a page that is an homage to Marshall McLuhan, who is one of the most inspirational intellectuals for us. What would he have tweeted, had he been able to engage with this ‘social’ medium in our time?
As the new media theorist would say, “the medium (is more important than) the message.” Twitter may be text, but it’s really an oral and auditory system in disguise: instantaneous, encompassing, and social. As McLuhan would argue, micro-blogging is just another symptom of a society moving back to the tribe. The quotes on this page are adapted from “The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan,” © Playboy Magazine, March 1969. Here are a few:
ElectricMan – Marshall McLuhan
For the past 3,500 years, the effects of media — whether it’s speech, writing, printing, photography or television — have been overlooked by social observers …
42 years ago
ElectricMan – Marshall McLuhan
Most people cling to what I call the rearview-mirror view of their world.
42 years ago
ElectricMan – Marshall McLuhan
Now man is beginning to wear his brain outside his skull and his nerves outside his skin.
42 years ago
ElectricMan – Marshall McLuhan
Man becomes the sex organs of the machine world just as the bee is of the plant world, permitting it to reproduce and evolve to higher forms.
42 years ago
Featured here are pages 424-425 from the book Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us. More information about the book can be found here.
Join us in spotting Next Nature phenomena around the World. Download the free Next Nature Spotter app for iPhone in the iTunes store, and start recording examples of next natural phenomena from your everyday life. Explore the grocery store, the freeway, even your own home in a new light.
The Spotter lets you share and comment on other next nature examples in your neighborhood. It also features a handy blog reader function.
The best spotter is awarded with a free copy of the Next Nature book, and the winning entry will be published on our blog. Better get snapping, though – the last day to submit entries for this round is August 30.
During the coming weeks, we will present a selection of our favourite pages from the Next Nature book. This week, after nation branding, the brand nation.
Entering the store or restaurant of a multinational corporation is like entering a country. The locals all wear a national uniform, greet you in the same language, and serve you an ethnic meal. Any nods to local culture – the McArabia, the Croque McDo, the McRice – are insignificant compared to the consistency of the brand experience. Any McDonald’s, be it in Manila or Moscow, is a sovereign embassy from the same corporate homeland. They exist in the ‘brand space,’ a place as much a state of mind as a physical location. Travelers often visit a corporate outpost to feel ‘at home,’ though they are homesick for the brand, not for their own country. One day, a Starbucks employee may come up to you and ask for your visa while you plug in your laptop and wait to buy a latte.
Featured here are pages 426-427 from the book Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us. More information about the book can be found here.
During the coming weeks, we will present a selection of our favourite pages from the Next Nature book. This week: The World Card Wood, the worlds’ most prestgious and versatile credit card.
For those who where always rich and demand only the best of what life has to offer; the exclusive Visa World Card Wood is for you. The World Card Wood is not just another piece of plastic. Made from burled wood, it is the ultimate buying tool.
The World Card Wood is not for everyone. even not for the nouveau rich. In fact, it is limited to the 1% of U.S. residents to ensure the highest caliber of personal service is provided to every card member.
Become a World Card Wood member today and enjoy our 24-hour world class Concierge Service ready to assist you with all your business, travel and leisure needs.
Note from the editor: This page is a so-called infotizement, which you can find throughout the book. This self-invented format is editorial content, but we disguised it as advertisement. You could say that it is the exact opposite of the advertorial, which lures you into engaging with (what you think is) editorial content, but is in fact an advertisement in disguise.
Featured here are pages 200-201 from the book Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us. More information about the book can be found here.
Last week, the young and talented designers of the Next Nature lab at the Eindhoven University of Technology presented their end of semester works in an internal exhibition. There are 58 designers & 10 coaches active in the next nature theme.
Projects range from autonomous sailing boats, to smoke bracelets, to adaptive medical systems, to lab-grown meat visualizations. Some snapshots.
During the coming weeks, we will present a selection of our favourite pages from the Next Nature book. This week a tool that encourages us to experience local specialties through the lens of a global corporation: The McWorld Map.
Fast-food chain McDonald’s is often seen as an exemplary example of the globalization processes that flatten the world and make things look, feel and taste the same everywhere. Why travel when cities have the same food, coffee and fashion chains? Increasingly, however, McDonald’s offers local specialties. Have a Shrimp Burger in Greece, Teriyaki McBurger in Japan, McKroket in the Netherlands or a Nürnburger in Germany. The dishes show traces of traditional regional cuisines, allowing McBackpackers to get a taste of the world while keeping a safe level of comfort and recognition. Unfortunately, without a franchise, some places (most of Africa, Mongolia, Cuba and North Korea) won’t be able to cater to fast food epicures.
Featured here are pages 314-315 from the book Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us. More information about the book can be found here.
During the coming weeks, we will present a selection of our favourite pages from the Next Nature book. This week the thirs one in this series: Tomorrow’s Fossils.
Ode to the car in 40 years’ time? A future Museum of Obsolete Objects? Inspired by Stonehenge while living in England, Jim Reinders, an experimental American artist, originally built Carhenge in Western Nebraska as a memorial to his father. Created in 1987 with the help of his family, it is now a free tourist attraction. It uses 38 vehicles, including a 1962 Cadillac, to mirror the position of the rocks that comprise Stonehenge.
England’s ‘natural’ past, an idealized place of agrarian idyll and legendary deeds, is transported to contemporary America. Reinders argues for the mythological resonance of the automobile, both as a continuation of past traditions, and as a progenitor of myth itself. As much as we live exclusively in next nature, we look to old nature, and old culture, for context. Will vintage gas-guzzlers prove as enduring as Stonehenge’s boulders?
Certain technologies, already obsolete in our time, may be as inscrutable in the distant future as long-extinct species are to us. When presented as a natural part of the geological record, a cellphone or a Playstation controller becomes a rare oddity. The skeletons of videogame and cartoon characters are just as disorientating, conjuring a life (and death) for the patently fictional. Yet these imagined artifacts recognize the same premise: the fossil record of our species will not be distinguished by our bones, but by our technologies.
Featured here are pages 56-57 from the book Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us. More information about the book can be found here.
Little over two weeks left to submit your speculative product idea for the Nano Supermarket. The jury that will select the finest submissions – to be exhibited in the Nano Supermarket this autumn and award the 2500 euro price – consist of distinguished scientists, designers, artists, journalists and thinkers. Here is the list:
Dave Blank – Director MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology
Rob van Hattum – Creative Director NEMO Science Center, Director Science programs VPRO
Tracy Metz – Design Journalist & Writer
Mieke Gerritzen – Designer, Director MOTI, Museum of the Image
Ronald van Tienhoven – Artist & Design Educator
Lucas Asselbergs (Chair) – Director Studium Generale, TU Eindhoven
We are proud to bring together such excellent people from such a broad spectrum of disciplines, who will undoubtedly be capable to judge the submission on their merits. If you haven’t submitted yet, download the submission form now.
During the coming weeks, we will present a selection of our favourite pages from the Next Nature book. This week the second one in this series: Google Nature.
Imagine you are an intelligent alien from outer space that has just landed on Earth. Before you can mingle with the earthlings you’d need to learn their language. It seemed like a smart idea to start at Google image search. Just type in a word and you’ll immediately get a collage of images that show you what it means (by the way: this is also a helpful tip for the more visually oriented humans among us). Let’s start for example with the word dandelion. That teaches you a lot about the different phases of this flower and how it propagates!
So far so good, but things are rapidly getting more bizarre. For instance when you try the Beetle, or the Puma: both somewhat confusing. The Lion seems to be fine, that ‘s the meat-eating animal that jumps on other animals. Jaguar seems to be more schizophrenic again. Better avoid the Apple. The Blackberry, however, is peculiar. It’s not certain where they grow.
Featured here are pages 88-89 from the book Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us. More information about the book can be found here.
Body-mod enthusiast David Hurban has decided to make a lifelong commitment to his iPod Nano. By implanting magnets in his wrist, Hurban has created a permanent bracket to hold his device. Of course, as some wise Youtubers have pointed out, there might be a problem if the next iPod comes in a different size. Want ideas for your own Apple-branded self-surgery? Watch the video of Hurban’s process here.
Thanks to Frederike Kaltheuner for the tip.
Congrats to Sean Serafini, the winner of our April Next Nature Spotter contest. While we received many images of fake nature, Sean’s entry delves deeper into more diverse next natural concepts. As Sean pointed out in his title, these foods are engaging in something like natural selection, competing against one another for the consumer’s attention. Thanks to packaging, marketing, and all-natural flavors, food technology has differentiated one crop – corn – into a cornucopia of different foods.
Sean, please contact us with your mailing info we can send you a copy of the Next Nature book.
Want to win your own copy of our book? The new Next Nature Spotter contest runs until July 31. Simply download our free iPhone app and start snapping. Don’t worry if you don’t have an iPhone – send your photos to email@example.com with “Next Nature Spotter” in the subject line.
Bring your phone or camera to the mall, to school, to your cubicle or your beach vacation. Let us know what you see. Entries will be judged on visual appeal and applicability to next nature concepts such as hypernature, manufactured animals, and anthropomorphobia. For more examples, check out our theme pages and FAQs.
Calling our Italian readers! This week our NANO Supermarket will be visiting Milan as part of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, a show devoted to product and interior design. While the show is only open to invitees, the NANO Supermarket is open to everyone. Come learn, discuss, and sample some pharmaceutical sushi.
NANO Supermarket Exhibition 18-22 April 2012
Studio Zeta, Via Friuli 26, 20135 Milan, Italy (map)
Wed 4/18: 11 AM – 7 PM
Thu 4/19: 9 AM – 7 PM
Fri 4/20: 9 AM – 7 PM
Sat 4/21: 9 AM – 7 PM
Sun 4/22: 11 AM – 5 PM
* Pre-opening at Dutch Consulate on 17th of April 18:00
Transporting and displaying cold food is an incredibly wasteful and inefficient process. Current display refrigerators, like those that display meats or cheeses in supermarkets, create cold air that is quickly lost to the open environment. The volume that is cooled is inevitably greater than the volume. Alp, by Ethan Frier, is a transportation and refrigeration concept for the supermarket of 2021. It consists of standardized, reusable boxes in which food items are packed, shipped and displayed.
The boxes are constructed of highly thermally conductive nanomaterials. They cool food via contact with a refrigerated “wall” that is permanently installed in the supermarket for display purposes, or in the wheeled containers used for transport. This system replaces the cardboard boxes typically used to ship food, the refrigerated infrastructure used to transport cold food (refrigerated trucks, large industrial holding refrigerators) and replaces the refrigerated shelving systems used to display cold food for sale. Alp is completely modular and scalable, and can be configured to replace almost any type of refrigerator, from mini fridge to industrial size. Alp challenges us to critically think about how we refrigerate and transport our food.
For additional documentation, visit the project page.
Designed by Luc de Smet, Awear is a speculative bracelet that can detect and record the sources of allergies for children in uncontrolled environments, such as schools and playgrounds. While the child wears the bracelet, parents or teachers can check the results on a computer or smartphone. It can be removed at any time when it is deemed no longer necessary or in the way.
Awear works by using an array of nanosize Raman spectroscopes that can scan any surface where light pierces. These miniature spectroscopes would look inside the wearer’s skin to see if an allergic reaction is occurring, and then analyze the surrounding air to detect what allergens are in range. GPS or another similar technology would record the location. The bracelet could be linked with others to share information, and could be modified to give warnings when certain known allergens are in range.