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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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Intimate Technology

Australians Wake Up One Hour Early Due to System Error in Their Mobile Phones

Customers of the Australian Telecom provider Optus didn’t get as much sleep as they’d hoped last week. Due to incorrectly set switching units in Brisbane, some phones in the state’s south-east automatically switched their time zone.

The glitch meant many woke an hour earlier than usual, leaving not just phone customers but whole households unhappy about rising early.

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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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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.

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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.

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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

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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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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!

Nano Supermarket

NANO Supermarket TV Commercial 2014

Sneak peek into your nano future with the brand new NANO Supermarket TV Commercial. Introducing the Healing Game, Coating Cola, Google Nose, and more.

Tomorrow – Saturday 18th October at 16:00 – we will introduce some of the visionary new products in detail during the Dutch Design Week.

The video was animated in flat-design by Arnoud van den Heuvel. People who like this might also like the NANO Supermarket commercial 2010.

More info via NANO Supermarket website

Humane-Technology

Need to Unplug? There is an App for that

Although technology was originally employed to free us from the forces of nature – think about a roof to protect you from rain – over time it became a next nature that is wild and unpredictable as ever; and it needs to be domesticated.

The Offtime App wants to save us from our own devices. Following a successful crowdfunding, the public version of Offtime is now available on Android.
It helps us disconnect from our devices when we need it most. And the best thing: it’s free.

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Anthropocene

The Anthropocene Explosion

Biologically, there is nothing remarkable in the fact that humans are agents of ecological change and environmental upset. All species transform their surroundings. The dizzying complexity of landscapes on Earth is not just a happy accident of geology and climate, but the result of billions of years of organisms grazing, excavating, defecating, and decomposing. Nor is it unusual that certain lucky species are able to outcompete and eventually entirely displace other species. The Great American Interchange, when North American fauna crossed the newly formed isthmus of Panama to conquer South America three million years ago1 is just one among countless examples of swift, large-scale extinctions resulting from competition and predation.

What is remarkable, however, is the stunning speed of human adaptation relative to other species, and that our adaptation is self-directed. From sonar and flight to disease immunity, humans can “evolve” exquisite new traits in a single generation. The Anthropocene represents a catastrophic mismatch between the pace of human technological evolution and the genetic evolution of nearly every other species on Earth. As with many other geological epochs, the Anthropocene has been heralded with a mass extinction, one which is generally accepted to be the sixth great one to occur on Earth.2

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Boomeranged Metaphors

Wow, Cool! A 3D model of the Save Icon!

We use metaphors to introduce unfamiliar technologies, such as the horseless carriage and the electric candle. For digital natives, however, the online realm may become more familiar than some aspects of the ‘real’ world.

Warfare is like a first-person shooter, New York is one of many Sim Cities, and a floppy disk is a 3D printed save icon. When analogies are transferred from the virtual to the physical world, the traditional flow of meaning is reversed: the metaphor has boomeranged!