Next Nature

Your Next Nature guide to Dutch Design Week 2018

Over time, our bodies, our food and our environment have become more and more subject to design. As designers, we hold the responsibility and have the unique chance to envision the world – in order to decide which future we want. Because if not us, then who?

This weekend, the Dutch Design Week 2018 opens in Eindhoven. In more than a hundred locations across the city, it presents the work and ideas of more than 2600 designers to more than 335,000 visitors from home and abroad. The Next Nature guide to DDW18 captures how technology is helping shape our world into a better, healthier and maybe even more next natural place. Here are 5 projects that you should not miss:

Chronic Health

As we increasingly seek to be healthier and happier, the boundaries between cure and enhancement are fading. We reach out to technological inventions and their possibilities to stretch the boundaries of human life. The exhibition Chronic Health: If not us, then who? by the Embassy of Health explores the future of healthcare and stimulates collaboration between health professionals, policymakers, patients and designers.

As part of the exhibition, Next Nature Network presents a speculative design proposal for an artificial womb in collaboration with Máxima Medical Centre (MMC). This unique collaboration is part of an ongoing research by Next Nature Network into the impact of technology on the the future of biological reproduction, intimacy and relationships under the working title REPRODUTOPIA; how will we make babies, experience intimacy and build families in the future? In the future, artificial wombs could replace incubators as they mimic the natural environment of the female uterus. But what will these ‘hatcheries’ look like?

Chronic Health takes place at Innovation Powerhouse.

Augmented Nature 

A next generation high-tech biologging tag on a whale.

Due to our destructive human behavior, we are now living in the 6th mass extinction. As the damaging human behavior appears immutable, a team of designers and engineers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College in London proposes an animal centered design approach. “[It’s] an approach in which success is measured in biodiversity and humans acknowledge that they’re part of the animal kingdom.” The innovative project Augmented Nature manufactures animals to prevent man’s best friends from mass extinction.

Augmented Nature is on show at Klokgebouw, Hall 2.

Frankenstein 

DDW18 is centered around the statement that we design our future: because if not us, then who? Perhaps the answer lies in artificial intelligence. Will algorithms design our future for us, with us or against us? The Frankenstein exhibition questions our responsibility over the technological systems that we create, and it speculates on the influence of the non-human other. The boundary between creator and creation, and thus the difference between the born and the made, may disappear. To date, the consequences are unknown. Will artificial life outsmart us in the future?

The exhibition Frankenstein (open all week) is part of the Frankenstein Symposium, moderated by our editor-in-chief Ruben Baart. The symposium takes place on October 22th at Natlab.

Robot Love

World’s first six-handed massage with a human touch. Meet the Shiva Therapist.

In the extensive and interactive exhibition Robot Love, artists, designers and scientists explore the relation between humans and robots. What happens when humans and machines are fusing? Robots often cause fear to be overruled, fear to lose our jobs, or a feeling of anthropomorphobia. Still, society seems fascinated by them. In a way, Robot Love poses the crucial question: what excactly does it mean to be human – instead of a machine? Among the works are the Shiva Therapist from our HUBOT office, the film Renderlands of speculative architect Liam Young and the tickle massage project by Driessens&Verstappen.

Robot Love takes place at the Melkfabriek.

Clean Revolution

Insectology, Atelier Boelhouwer

Reducing the amount of waste, minimizing the use of non-renewable sources, closing the production cycle; the future of design is crammed with sustainable challenges. Clean Revolution presents a collection of Dutch designers who seek to transform trash into treasures and contribute to a circular economy. The exhibition is the perfect opportunity to spot innovative thought, and gain insight into modern-day design challenges. It features the work from Teresa van Dongen, Boyan Slat, Shahar Livne, and Lightyear – to name a few.

Clean Revolution is on show at Veem, Floor 3.

Visit the Dutch Design Week from 20-28 October in Eindhoven. Want more? Follow us on Instagram, here we feature the most inspiring #nextnature projects at DDW18 in the coming week!

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