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Koert van Mensvoort

Creative Director
Artist and philosopher. The discovery of Next Nature has been the most profound experience in his life so far.
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Green Blues

Solar Eclipse May Impact Power Supply Due to Increased Use of Solar Panels

For the first time in human history a solar eclipse is expected to impact our electrical power supply systems. Not because the forthcoming eclipse of 20th march 2015 is bigger or longer lasting than earlier solar eclipses, but rather due to the increased use of solar energy for power supply.

Back in 1999, around the time of the last large solar eclipse in Europe, solar power covered just 0.1 per cent of all the electricity produced in Europe from renewable energy sources. Since then solar power generation increased to at least 10.5 per cent as countries subsidize green power to meet EU renewable energy targets.

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In Vitro Fleisch Reportage
Food Technology

In Vitro Meat Godfather Dies at Age of 91

Dutch researcher and entrepreneur, Willem van Eelen, has died in Amsterdam on the 24th of February 2015. Van Eelen was born in 1923, the son of a doctor, and a child of colonial privilege. After suffering starvation in a Japanese P.O.W. camp during the second World War, Van Eelen imagined growing meat in the laboratory, late 1940. The idea came to him while attending a scientific lecture on how to preserve meat as a psychology student at the University of Amsterdam.

For more than half a century, Van Eelen relentlessly researched and promoted In Vitro Meat, also known as victimless meat, cultured meat, tubesteak, frankenmeat, shmeat, and test-tube meat. Admitted, he was not the first to envision the idea of growing meat – or muscle tissue – outside of the animal, yet his lasting effort to turn the vision into a reality earned him the title The Godfather of In Vitro Meat.

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bitcoinminepower_
Symbolic-Overdrive

Meet the Modern Miners

The good people of Motherboard gained access to a massive, secretive Bitcoin mine that is said to make 4050 bitcoins a month, which converts to some 800,000 Euro at the current rate. The mine consists of 3,000 computers specifically build to mine for bitcoins and is based in a re-purposed factory in rural northeast China.

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glowingplanet
Wild Systems

Cities Evolve in Similar Ways as Galaxies

Satellite images of Earth at night evoke ambiguous feelings: While on a ground level our cities appear as purely cultural artifacts, a traveler from outer space might just as well marvel at them as beautifully glowing organic fungi-like structures that sprouted on our planet. Less than a millennium ago, the Earth at night was all dark. Today it is all glowing and blossoming.

Scientists think the laws governing the structure of galaxies in outer space are the same laws underlying the growth of cities. Henry Lin and Abraham Loeb at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have used models for showing how galaxies evolve based on matter density to propose a unifying theory for scaling laws of human populations.

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B
Biomimicry

Bio Art & Design Awards 2015

So, you are well aware that biotech will drive our evolution, you took the crash course on synthetic genomics, you’ve got your map of the DNA world in your backpack and are now eager to redesign some microbes that turn waste into energy, eat plastic, detect flu, or build a better being altogether? You have a brilliant project plan already, but only need some – let say– euro 25.000 and a bit of help from a research group to turn your vision into reality? We have cake for you.

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sharks on twitter
Biomimicry

Over 300 Sharks are Now on Twitter

Twitter is steadily growing its user base. Recently 338 sharks in Western Australia subscribed to the microblogging service. They are now tweeting out where they are.

Australian researchers have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that monitor where the animals swim. When a tagged shark is about half a mile away from a beach, it triggers a computer alert, which tweets out a message on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter feed. The tweet notes the shark’s size, breed and approximate location.

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Digital-Presence

Mark Zuckerberg Discovers ‘Books’

The Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg made a New Year’s resolution to read a book every other week, and last week he invited his 30 million Facebook followers to join him in what could become the world’s largest book club.

“I’m excited for my reading challenge. I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling,” Zuckerberg said in a post. “Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.”

Hooray for Mark! And his book club is so influential that the paperback version of the first book Zuck chose to read for the group,”The End of Power” has now sold out on Amazon. Naturally we have a special book recommendation for Mark.

3039342-slide-s-4-this-futuristic-office-doesnt-have-chairs-or-desks
Design-for-debate

Experimental Office: No Chairs, No Desks

How natural is it to work from nine to five sitting on a chair behind a desk, staring at a computer screen, wearing a suit and tie? Although it is today’s standard, genetically people aren’t really attuned to this norm. To counter the sitting dogma, design firm RAAAF and artist Barbara Visser experimented with more dynamic office concept, entirely based on movement and leaning.

The next office is meant to help combat all of the health problems—from heart disease to diabetes—that the typical desk job can contribute to or exacerbate. Throughout the day, people lean in different positions and keep moving around the room.  Supported by giant rock-like sculptures that presumably invite to a healthier, more active way to work than anything that’s come before.

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Anthropomorphobia

Lonely Sculpture Your Next Tinder Match?

Tinder users beware: somewhere out there on the Internet, a mechanical finger is surfing the popular dating smartphone app, endlessly approving profiles. This could be your next match.

The Lonely Sculpture, by Australian artist Tully Arnot, calls into question our increasingly digitized networks of relationships, illustrating how communicating via machine strips our interactions of personality and individuality.

As we become more and more dependent on technology, the lines between people and products are blurred.

organic_coconutwater
Biomimicmarketing

100% Organic? Get a Coconut

Numerous products nowadays present themselves as organic. Such labeling suggests these products are created according to the principles and in harmony with nature, yet, it is hardly ever defined what this exactly means.

This pure organic coconut water is a striking example. 100% pure organic coconut water would be to drink directly from the coconut. So how organic is this product really? 80% Organic? 70% Organic? Or just slightly more organic than the coconut water without the labeling?

Technorhetoric

Xmas Unwrapped

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of Christmas? Buckle up for an expedition along the supply chain to visit the factory floors and productions lines of our fluffy red Santa hats, shiny baubles, tinsel and fake plastic trees.
Merry Christmas. Ho Ho Ho!

Video by Unknown Fields Division and Toby Smith

fury
Image Consumption

Now Wait, Did Tanks Have Lasers WWII?

Recent World War II movie Fury is arguably the most immersive portrayal of WWII since Steven Spielbergs Saving Private Ryan. Both films portray the ghastly violence of war – and what it can do to the human body – realistically and with fine detail.

In Fury the viewer teams up with the battle-hardened crew of a Sherman tank out a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Tank is commanded by Brad Pitt, in what seems to be a watered down version of his Inglorious Bastards character. Get popcorn! Although you may loose your appetite during the film. Fury does a great job at making you feel you as if you actually are inside the claustrophobic Sherman tank, surrounded by Nazi’s out to kill you.

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palmtree_antenna
Biomimicmarketing

Palm Tree Antenna

These next natural palm trees species were spotted near Las Vegas and Hurghada, Egypt. Rest assured tourists don’t want ugly cellphone antennas spoiling their oases: they want an untouched landscape, but with cellphone coverage.

In case you know any cellphone tree antenna masts in your environment, use the Next Nature spotting app for iPhone to add them to our collection. The best picture wins a copy of our lustrous Next Nature book!