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Interview: Leanne Wijnsma, Designer for the Instinct Who Uses Smell as Medium

Consider this, early humans had a more developed olfactory sense. As we are slowly evolving, our sense of smell is degrading because we need it less to survive. Dutch experience designer Leanne Wijnsma creates for the human instinct and puts the sense of smell back to where it belongs, as modern hazards have shifted to the digital realm.

In 2014 she was nominated for the Bio Art and Design Award and has been a Future Emerging Art and Technology associate since 2016. She received an e-culture grant from the Dutch Cultural Media Fund to research and develop her current project The Smell Of Data in collaboration with filmmaker Froukje Tan. We recently spoke to her about olfactory design, digital bodies, the relationship between freedom and technology, and more.

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The People Walker Add
Suburban Utopia

Walk, Talk and Get Paid

A plain white backgound with just three sentences listed: “Can you walk and talk? Or are you just interested in being walked? Enter your email” followed by a submit button. This no-design website stands against the vividly coloured ultra-responsive web design we got used to. It praises simplicity aiming at direct personal contact. And so does the job it is advertising: walking people.

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solar energy currency
Hypernature

Solar Energy: the Hottest New Currency

Energy is everywhere and everything. This is a central idea of Albert Einstein’s famous e=mc2 equation. In the very near future it is possible to imagine that most surfaces on our planet will be able to capture this abundance of energy that we find ourselves surrounded by and made up of. All living creatures on Earth, including humans and their new robotic associates, demand energy to survive. Thanks to newly designed green technologies, energy is starting to be safely and sustainably captured. The huge demand for energy and potentially sustainable supply makes it a very strong candidate for a commodity-based currency. An energy credit if you will.

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Intimate Technology

Using Nanobots to Treat Depression

Keep calm and carry on; don’t worry be happy; just stop being sad! If we could treat depression just by saying corny catchphrases or repeating mantras, life would be easier. Well, now we are a step closer to this scenario, but instead of saying a phrase you have to do math.

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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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Augmented Bodies

A Step Further in the Race Against AI

Today we have powers that we could not even imagine few years ago. We can communicate with people on the other side of the world, we have access to a huge amount of information in seconds, we can visit places without moving. Until now these powers have always depended on the support of tech devices, but with the Neural Lace this could soon change.

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Are these the headphones of the future
Augmented Bodies

Are These the Headphones of the Future?

With the pompous and promised-to-be groundbreaking introduction of iPhone7, specialists and everyday users started a battle over the lack of 3.5 mm headphone jack. Instead of getting the standard free wired earphones, you need to buy the AirPods wireless ones for $159. While some are happy to forget about tangled cord, others complain about making Apple devices even more exclusive. Putting the practical issues aside, there comes a question on what this really means.

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Intimate Technology

Interview: Pauline Van Dongen, Designer Merging Fashion and Technology

Dutch fashion designer specialized in wearable technology, Pauline van Dongen researches the human body in relation to its surroundings

Established in 2010, her studio is immersed in the dynamic intersection of fashion and technology and is dedicated to collaborative, cross-disciplinary work that enables innovation and experimentation to take the form of a truly wearable and desirable product. Van Dongen’s vision is based on the belief that technology can add new value and meaning to fashion and can enhance the way we experience the world around us. To her, technology is not a mere tool, but rather one of aesthetics. The language and expression of the body give form to the garment establishing an intimate connection with the wearer and tuning technology in something intuitive.

We recently talked with Pauline Van Dongen about her work with solar cells, the integration of nature and technology in clothing and new developments in 3D printed fashion using body scanning and generative design tools.

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