Nongenetic Evolution

Interview: Huub Ehlhardt on the evolution of products

“To understand why a product is the way it is today, you need to learn about its evolutionary background.” Meet Huub Ehlhardt, an engineer with a PhD in product design. Huub believes that innovation is best not described as a sequence of disruptive inventions, but as a gradual evolution of products. Together with Arthur Eger, he wrote On the Origin of Products; The Evolution of Product Innovation and Design. Over the next few weeks, Huub takes us on an intellectual joyride on the origins of the word processor, LED lamp, e-bike and smartphone. Kicking off the series, we sat down with Huub to learn what he’s all about.

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Society of Simulations

Next hospitals: How virtual reality is shaping the future of medicine

And it’s already showing incredible results. VR transports us to faraway worlds without even asking us to leave our chairs. Yet we usually hear about it in the context of video games or the art world. Now, the world of healthcare is starting to wake up to the possibilities on offer. Here are some of the innovators who are tapping into the power of simulations to bring more humane and effective treatments to patients in need.

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Wild Systems

Flock of Drones fly over Amsterdam

There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a murmuration of starlings swirl across a plum-coloured, darkening sky. This Friday, at sunset, you can; but instead of it being real birds, FuturePace artist Studio Drift will present a flying sculpture of 300 luminously lit Intel drones, which will swarm and swoop above the river IJ, Amsterdam, mimicking birds flight. Franchise Freedom acts as an opportunity to show the public how nature and technology can be merged in ways that are startlingly beautiful, rather than frightening and ominous.

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Next Nature

Towards a design brief for the artificial womb

Humanity is facing the disconnection between biological reproduction and the body, facilitated by the emerging technology of the Artificial Womb. Envisioned in bleak science fiction scenarios many times in the past, this technology is about to become a reality in our present. But how will it affect our culture – and how should that new culture be designed? Join us for a public discussion on September 7th during the REPRODUTOPIA summit at Tech Festival in Copenhagen, and explore with us how we may make babies, experience intimacy and build families in the future.

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Reprodutopia

A happy birth day to Louise Brown

Dear Louise Brown,

On behalf of the future I would like to congratulate you on your birthday. It has been 40 years that you where born into this world on July 25th 1978, after conception by in vitro fertilisation, or IVF. A process envisioned and developed by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, who in 2010 won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this amazing accomplishment. Please allow me to reflect on this special moment.

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Society of Simulations

‘WFF’ a person who you encountered briefly, but stays in your online life forever

Before social networks, there were episodic characters in our lives – people we’ve only met once or twice, and we haven’t heard from since. Nowadays whoever, we once add a person to our social media circle, we’ll stay in our news feed forever – and we’ll be regularly updated on their life events. They may even become dominant people in our online life.

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