Manufactured Landscapes

No-Waste Architecture From Seawater

Erosion and desertification are two of the biggest changes we are facing today. According to the United Nations they are “the greatest threat to our planet”. Intensive agriculture and urbanization are among the causes of this emergency state of climate shift. This causes yearly losses of 12 million hectares of land, right when our population is highly increasing. Given this actual status, Dutch innovator Eric Geboers came up with a solution to use only locally available resources. His idea is to pump seawater to establish a well-functioning, independent ecosystem in desertified areas.

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turkish shepherds always connected
Manufactured Animals

Solar-Powered Donkeys to Stay Online

Our peculiar image of the week features the innovation of the Turkish shepherds. To stay connected they fasten solar panels and battery packs to the donkeys that accompany them to the desolate mountains. Thanks to the energy produced, they can stay online and power lights. Connectivity is a powerful tool for economic progress, and it can often represent the difference between life or death in poor rural areas.

Image: Getty Images

 

Virtual Gold bullion alternative currency
Wild Systems

How Rare Is Virtual Gold?

A ten part series exploring the design of an invisible technology: money.

The (in)famous American economist Alan Greenspan once said that “in the absence of the gold standard, there is no safe store of value”. The gold standard is a monetary system where a country’s currency or paper money has a value directly linked to gold. The system is no longer used, with America being the last major country to renounce it in 1971. Yet gold bullion, also known as gold bar, still holds its allure to investors as a safe store of value. In recent years, a new store of value has arisen in the form of a virtual precious metal cryptocurrency called Crypto Bullion.

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Suburban Utopia

Making King’s Day More Sustainable

On the 27th of April, The Netherlands celebrates the birthday of the king Willem-Alexander. This holiday is called King’s Day, or Koningsdag in Dutch. Everyone wears orange clothing, tourists invade Amsterdam, people set up stalls to sell second-hand goods, boats parade in the canals, but beer-drinking remains the main activity of the day – with everything that entails. Between 600.000 and a million visitors are expected in the Dutch capital and local authorities developed a strategy to make this annual street-party more environmentally friendly.

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Information Decoration

The Complex Networks of Our Planet

Our planet is composed of millions of networks. The balance between the animal species and their habitats. The migrations in history. The financial flows between countries and continents. Everything that happens in the world, on a microscopic scale as well as globally, is potentially describable as a set of mathematical functions. The more accurate they are, the more useful they will be to depict not only the present but also the future reality.

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Forward to Nature

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Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?

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Suburban Utopia

We Love Cities, so Do Wild Animals

Today 54% of the word’s population lives in cities, and this trend is expected to grow. By 2050 the number of people residing in urban areas will increase by 66%, but we won’t be the only inhabitants. Also wild animals have a liking for town life. 

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Tay twitterbot
Wild Systems

Racist Robots and Bloodthirsty Crowds

On March the 23rd, Microsoft unveiled Tay, a twitterbot that was created with the intent of talking like a teenager. It’s artificial intelligence was made to learn from interacting with other people in the twitterverse. It was expected that Tay would make jokes and employ internet-millenial slang. What happened was something different.

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a cinema for millennials
Society of Simulations

The New Cinema Is Smartphone-Friendly

The use of smartphones is now ongoing and intense, especially among certain categories of the population. The addiction could becomes annoying when people are unable to disconnect even in a theater or at the movies. The urge to constantly take pictures or clips, chat or post on Facebook is what pushed American movie theater chain AMC Entertainment to introduce “text friendly” theaters. Strictly reserved to those who cannot stop texting.

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