Nature Finds a Way
Welcome to the suburban utopia, where everyone owns a home, a car and an iSomething. All of your needs have been met, and every detail has been planned.
But is something missing? Or are you not good enough for the perfect world? The image of the suburban utopia may be cracking under the pressure of perfection. Even here there are risks and unexpected phenomena. Nature, and human nature, has a way of disrupting even the most squeaky-clean environment.
Google kills Bambi
Every emerging next nature typically stresses some older nature. Time after time, we plant a new habituation, a new instinct, a second nature, that causes the first nature to dry out. What is now being …
Why wait for old nature to give us rainbows when we have so many ways of making our own? The image above shows solar-powered installation that uses recycled rainwater to create on-demand rainbows in Omaha, …
Waves of Asphalt
Set amid farmland in rural Japan, this small project is a bizarre hybrid of landscape art and infrastructure. It consists of a square, 20-space car park that looks as if it has been struck by …
Fountains are peculiar objects: We associate them with nature even though they are typically entirely artificial and man-made (unless you are living in Iceland of course).
Recently however, a fountain that wasn’t planned for emerged in …
Has this tree gone Pac-Man on the power lines? In truth, the slice through the side of the tree is the work of ‘utility pruning.’ Topiary was once determined on entirely aesthetic lines, be it …
Media artists Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács remake the Disney classic Bambi by stripping away all the inhabitants. Disney's utopian landscape is revealed.
Next Nature “refers to the nature produced by humans and their technology.” The prevailing attitude of Next Nature is “techno-optimism.” What is the nature of this “Nature” and what are the grounds for the optimism?
I’ll start by citing some recent technological phenomena and what they seem to indicate about the nature and direction of our technoculture. We’re already increasingly inhabitants of a technosphere, so let’s look at some of its actual offerings.
In today’s mass techno-society, community has all but disappeared. And without social bonds and solidarity, anything can and does happen.
— John Zerzan
Modern society seems to have transformed human nature into a pathology. Our emotions are controlled by drugs. We are forced to operate within a narrow bandwith of what are considered ‘acceptable’ levels of emotion. We cannot go too far outside of this range, lest we be labeled an ‘other’, as a person out of control. If we are too sad, we are depressed, and must be medicated. If we are too distracted, we have ADHD, and must be medicated. Human nature is being capitilized on by the drug companies. There is a pill for every mood, every emotion, every state. Our emotions are being pathologized for profit, our identities handed to us in small, jewel-colored pills.
“Take water, regain yourself.” This is a mediated identity, that we are being charged for. So, what are the pros/cons emotions? What are the extremes? And how are emotions transformed into an easily digestible capsules designed to dilute and tamper these extremes?
Thomas Thwaites decided to take things in his own hand and see if he could build a toaster, from scratch – beginning by mining the raw materials and ending with a replica of a mass–produced toaster he bought in a shop for less than £5.00.
After some research Thomas determined that he needed only five materials to make a toaster.
We recreate the landscape according to our image of nature and to match our needs and expectations. This also applies for the urban landscape. In the NY Times of last week, Thomas Leo Ogren pleas for Allergy-Free Gardening in New York City, to improve the quality of life in the Big Apple. It seems there is a big market for hypo-allegenic urban tree species…
BY THOMAS LEO OGREN – As certain trees burst into bloom in spring, their pollen wafts through the air in a wanton attempt to reach receptive blossoms. Millions of people with allergies pay the price, in sneezing, wheezing, coughing, drowsiness and itchy, watery eyes. They needn’t suffer so much. Cities could reduce the misery by planting street trees that produce very little pollen or none at all.
Street trees weren’t always as allergenic as they are today. Back in the 1950s, the most popular species planted in the United States was the native American elm, which sheds little pollen. Millions of these tall, stately trees lined the streets of towns and cities from coast to coast. Sadly, in the 1960s and ’70s, Dutch elm disease killed most of the elms, and many of them were replaced with species that are highly allergenic.
This has caused trouble for Americans with allergies — as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children — most of whom are sensitive to pollen, as well as for the many millions who have allergy-induced asthma. Although some pollen can be carried great distances by the wind, most atmospheric pollen comes from plants growing nearby. In other words, the pollen that’s making you …
Besides the extensive collection of animals from around the planet, the Amsterdam City Zoo Artis also houses some local wild species on its premises who immigrated into the zoo on their own initiative.
The blue heron, a local bird living around the city of Amsterdam, appreciates the housing conditions in the Zoo so much that there is now a whole colony of them living in the Zoo. The birds are intruding and squatting residencies of legally immigrated zoo animals, enjoying a good dinner along with the penguins, flamingos and sea lions.
Recently the government granted the Zoo a permit to remove the nests of the herons from the Zoo. However, according to the faunabescherming (Dutch) – an organization that protects the interests of animals that live in the wild – the zoo …
MoMA in New York has a new exhibit exploring what can be done with American’s only seemingly inexhaustible resource: foreclosed homes and sparsely inhabited suburbs. Nature-City, a proposal by WORKac, turns the cookie-cutter town of Keizer, Oregon into a model city that incorporates just about every on-trend proposition in urban planning. There’s farmer’s markets, rooftop farms, and fuel cells integrated into the buildings’ design.
After this, however, Nature-City has some clever tricks up its sleeves. A water tower housed at the top of an apartment block …
Green Roofs for Living
This impression shows the ambitions of the city of Rotterdam for the coming decade. The city is supposed to have an image problem concerning its greenlife; as a big industrial harbour city in The Netherlands, …
Billboard in the Forest
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(The creator of …
The "Plantascraper" Sprouts in Sweden
We’re used to seeing proposals for high-tech vertical farms that never seem to translate to real life, but the city of Linköping in Sweden has finally taken these buildings out of the realm of glossy …