Who would have thought synthetic organisms would ever be employed to save endangered species? Conservation biologist worried about the extinction of exotic frog populations are calling the help of synthetic biologists to avoid disaster.
Currently, a fungus epidemics with the eerie name batrachochytrium dendrobatidis threatens more than 2,800 amphibian species. The depicted Panamanian golden frog has already been pushed close to extinction by fungal disease, but conservationists believe the tragedy could be countered by a new generation of synthetically manipulated organisms.
“We face the prospect of losing a great deal from the natural world and we have to think of solutions that could be generated by all sorts of different techniques, including those involved in synthetic biology.” conservation biologist Kent Redford told the Guardian.
Green: It’s the color of spring leaves, little frogs and, apparently, health. According to a new study, consumers overwhelmingly rated candy bars with green nutrition labels as healthier than those with red labels, even when all the data remained the same. While green is perceived as a “green light” to go ahead and eat a sugary snack, the color green is also heavily pushed in biomimicmarketing to imply a product is wholesome and natural – and therefore better for you.
Via the Washington Post.
Beautiful Mutation series from Belgian designer Maarten De Ceulaer show how herpes would dramatically enhance the look of your Yves Klein blue sofa. Indeed the velvety series looks more comfortable than Tokujin Yoshioka’s growing crystal chair- although it’s only a biomimicmarketing simulation rather than a truly biological or chemical process.
De Ceulaar explains,” The pieces in this series look like they weren’t made by hands, but have grown to their present form organically. They might be the result of a mutation in cells, or the result of a chemical or nuclear reaction. Perhaps it’s a virus or bacteria that has grown dramatically out of scale. The Mutation pieces make you look at furniture in a different way. Maybe one day we would be able to grow a piece of furniture like we breed or clone an animal, and manipulate its shape like a bonsai tree.”
While society is still discussing futuristic in-vitro meat scenarios, designers are already watching TV on their very own in-vitro furniture.
Not real, but a far more creative way to deal with unsightly public works than tree-shaped antennas.
Designer Robbie Tilton’s keyboard replaces the impersonal metal of a keyboard with lush imitation moss and wooden keys. Though it’s a good example of fake nature, Tilton’s keyboard is about more than just plastic replacements for the real thing. According to Tilton, “Tech products are often built in a clean, glass, pristine style. They’re not touchable. Tactilely, they are not that interesting.” The keyboard reintroduces some of the tactility of old nature into our unresponsive, button-filled environment.
Thanks to Daniel R. Witte for the heads-up.
The latest trend in fashion is organic clothing. These clothes are made with organic materials and raised or grown by organic agricultural standards. Examples of such organic materials are cotton, jute, silk, ramie or wool. These materials are grown without herbicides, pesticides or any genetically modified seeds.
Intuitively we expect these organic clothes to be more environmental friendly and sustainable than polyester textiles, until you realize the natural color of cotton is not green, but brown.
Loosely regulated and largely untested in clinical trials, herbal medicines nonetheless do big business based on their image of being wholesome, natural, and backed by millennia of tradition. Common sense tells us that it’s healthier to swallow a flower than a pill, and wiser to consult with a kindly herbalist than with a white-coated doctor.
Biomimicmarketing is so persuasive that it can sell poison, so long as the poison is “natural”. Aristolochia, a mottled purple flower, was a common medicine in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, and is still an ingredient in traditional chinese remedies and in certain weight-loss supplements. Prescribed for ailments as wide-ranging as childbirth, arthritis and snakebites, for thousands of years doctors and patients managed to miss the flower’s most potent property: It will kill you.
The High Line, the amazing recycling project that converted a former NYC railroad to high-rise park, has inspired the reincarnation of similar disused urban spaces across the globe. As part of the cultural strategy ‘I Make Rotterdam‘, the central district of Rotterdam will be connected with the northern neighborhoods via a raised pedestrian platform. The experience of walking through a living space is comforting to us in an age when everything is artificial and motorized. Interestingly, it seems that the “natural” can not be appreciated unless it is neatly structured in a linear, park-like form.
The Dutch Railways (NS) recently upgraded their cheerfully blue-yellow trains with flat screens to depict travel information but also to show how delightfully natural it is to travel by train. If you squeeze your eyes a little and look through your eye lashes this image of one of their trains, almost makes you believe that it is a yellow, blue spotted caterpillar in the long grass. Peculiar image of the week.
Pump yourself up the “natural” way: Muscle Milk contains no milk, and hopefully no muscles either. Just goes to show that nature is the most successful marketing trope of our time.
What do blueberries have in common with sugar, corn cereal, modified food starch, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, artificial flavor, cellulose gum, salt and and Blue #1, Blue #2, Red #40 and Green #3? Nothing! But that doesn’t stop food companies from marketing 100% manufactured “blueberry crunchlets” or “blueberry bits” as the real deal. Blueberry Muffin Mini-Wheat cereal? No blueberries. Total Pomegranate and Blueberry cereal? No pomegranates, no blueberries. Blueberry Pop Tarts? More corn syrup than berries.
This type of advertising rides the biomimic-marketing wave, using nature and the poorly-documented claims of “superfoods” to cast a healthy aura on junk. It allows us to feel virtuous, pure and wholesome while we eat foods largely derived from sugar, cheap grains, and chemical additives. Want to avoid these psuedo-berries? Just read the ingredients list or, better yet, buy a carton of fresh berries.
Via Food Investigations.
We remain startled by the continuous employement of ‘natural’ images to market products. Bacardi Rum wins the triple biomimicmarketing award with their latest dragon-berry mix. Apparently the marketeers of Bacardi expect the combination of bats, berries and dragons to successfully promote the alcoholic sugar drink.
According to the ingredients list the drink does indeed contains both strawberry and dragonfruit substrates. The bats are missing, however, they’re merely added to the marketing mix to metaphorically enforce the association with night live.
Bacardi furthermore recommends to enjoy the drink with ginger ale for a quadruple biomimicmarketing mix of Dragons, Berries, Bats, Ginger and Headaches. Image consumption in the overdrive. Cheers folks!
Bioengineer Raymond Ong remixes the beauty & variety of nature into something nature could not have imagined. By transferring the DNA of existing animal patterns on the skin of stingray fishes, his company creates uniquely customized fish leather. This leather is then used to produce highly personalized sneakers.
Grow your own
fish sneaker at Rayfish.com.
Nothing beats the factory-scent of expensive, freshly unboxed technology! Artist group Greatest Hits produced the Apple Unboxing Scent for use at an exhibition in Melbourne, where it will be diffused for the visitors at West Space – Level 1, 225 Bourke Street – April 20th – May 12th.
“A distinctive scent can be observed when unwrapping a newly purchased Apple product from its packaging. Apple fans will certainly recognize this smell. The scent created for Greatest Hits encompasses the smell of the plastic wrap covering the box, printed ink on the cardboard, the smell of paper and plastic components within the box and of course the aluminum laptop which has come straight from the factory where it was assembled in China.”
For centuries mother nature has been the inspiration to the perfume makers. Our perfumes make us smell like lavender fields or cool breezes. Even our sweat smells rollicking. Nowadays one could question whether there is such thing as “natural odor”. Seen from this perspective, it is only logical that concepts like these, prelude the coming of a new era where the fusion of man and technology is accepted and common. This must be what NextNature smells like!
Some years ago we studied the heritage of Coca Cola as a health drink and presented a fictional product called Organic Coke. Back in 2008 this was merely a speculative design, created to stir a discussion on the use of natural imagery to market products.
As many people liked the idea of Organic Coke it obtained a certain presence & visibility on the Internet. Apparently some people at the Coca Cola company are now considering to actually bring Organic Coke to the market. At least, if this internal ‘Situation Analysis Report’ is genuine.
Be Brave, Be Optimistic, Be Different, Be Young, Take care of your BODY, Drink Organic Coke. Admittedly that slogan still needs some work, yet it would certainly be to our delight to see the green cans appearing in the supermarket. Yes, I still want my Organic Coke!
As our scientific knowledge of nutritious food increases, will healthy foods be progressively designed to look like medicines? This blueberry blister packaging created by Chinese designer Daizi Zheng certainly points in that direction.
Although utterly over-designed and unsustainably over-packaged, this might well be a product patients suffering from the healthy eating disease Orthorexia Nervosa would crave for.
Weird biomimicmarketing commercial brought to you by American Airlines.