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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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NEXTNATURE_SPOTTER
Biomimicmarketing

Updated Next Nature Spotter

Enough bird spotting? Put on your nextnature glasses and start spotting with the updated Next Nature Spotter app for iPhone.

Join us in spotting Next Nature phenomena around the World. Download the free Next Nature Spotter app for iPhone in the iTunes store, and start recording examples of next natural phenomena from your everyday life. Explore the grocery store, the freeway, even your own home in a new light.

The Spotter lets you share and comment on other next nature examples in your neighborhood. It also features a handy blog reader function.

The best spotter is awarded with a free copy of the Next Nature book, and the winning entry will be published on our blog. Better get snapping, though – the last day to submit entries for this round is March 31th.

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Brand Territory

Top 100 Economies: 37 are Corporations

According to a research report by the Transnational Institute, 37 of the world’s 100 largest economies are corporations. Will their branded territories determine the borders of the future?

The lists make it tempting to conclude that nation states are a dying species soon to be superseded by corporations, yet until the day corporations start sending out aircraft carrier ships, we know the nation state is still alive – and kicking.

Via Makewealthhistory.org. Thanks Marleen.

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Back to the Tribe

Faraday Tent

While in old nature people build shelters to protect themselves from natural forces like wind and rain, today one has to protect oneself from nextnatural forces like electromagnetic signals, cellphone tracking, closed circuit television, drone attacks, radiation, etc.

The Faraday tent is a personal space that protects you from all electromagnetic signals in your surroundings. The nextnatural shelter was developed by Sarah van Sonsbeek. She also made a handy Faraday bag, which blocks all calls if you drop your phone in it.

Augmented-Bodies

A Conversation with Kevin Kelly

You have a choice dear reader: spend 3 seconds scanning this blogpost, or spend the full 1:11:28 minutes listening to the interview John Brockman did with technology philosopher and founding editor of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly.

The interview touches upon the nature of technology, big data, surveillance society, money as a medium, techno-literacy and the question whether the universe is analog or digital.

The video is best experienced as radio, or you can read the transcript here.

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Anthropocene

Old Nature Strikes Back

Geology isn’t always slow. Last month a huge boulder rolled down a mountain in northern Italy and turned a barn into splinters as it narrowly missed a farmhouse. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the event. Via NPR.

Anthropomorphobia

Biological Bakery

Here is one for the niche of poppy-science-synthetic-biology-candy lovers.

For the Aussie pop band Architecture In Helsinki artists Lucy McRae and Rachel Wingfield made a edible DIY bio fab–lab called the Biological Bakery. Using familiar baking processes that merge the mass production of food with the representation of the body, a production line of miniaturized band members are transformed into edible, cloned body parts that are dipped and rotated on mass in huge vats of bacterial skin. Now try this at home folks!

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Image-Consumption

The Sunrise is Now Televised in Beijing

According to the Daily Mail the smog in Beijing has become so thick that only place to hail a sunrise is on the huge digital commercial television screens across the city.

Last week the reading for particles of PM2.5 pollution was 26 times as high as the 25 micrograms considered safe by the World Health Organization.

In response to the poor air conditions Beijing’s mayor pledged to cut coal use by 2.6 million tonnes and set aside 15 billion yuan to improve air quality this year as part of the city’s ‘all-out effort’ to tackle air pollution.

Thanks Andrea Graziano.

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Bionics

Join the Bio Art & Design Awards

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.

Read more

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Biomimicmarketing

Pepsi Aubergine

Occasionally you bump into an image that seems related to our next nature quest, but you are unable to verbalize. If you have an idea, please enlighten us dear intelligent readers. For now it is our peculiar image of the week. Thanks Selby.

Humane-Technology

Let the Drones take care of the Biosphere

Drones are typically thought of as flying spying robots, or even worse flying spying shooting robots. But could we also employ drones for good? The people of conversationdrones.org employ drones to survey wildlife, monitor ecosystems and guard protected areas.

Although there is still a ‘boys with toys’ element to the practice, the idea to employ the technosphere to support the biosphere must be applauded.

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Innovative Nostalgia

Innovative Nostalgia

A battle is underway between designers and engineers; at stake is the design of our technological future. It rages subtly like a moorland fire. Koert van Mensvoort adds fuel to the flames, but also offers a solution. The impact of new technology on our lives is hard to overestimate. Read more

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Wild Systems

The Drone Survival Guide

Our ancestors could spot natural predators from far by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. Get into twenty-first century bird spotting with The Drone Survival guide.

The downloadable guide is an attempt to familiarize people with a changing technological environment. It contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species. It is also possible to order a copy printed on Chromolux ALU-E mirrored paper that, according to designer Ruben Pater, can be used as a defense against drone cameras because of its mirrored surface.

Prepare yourself for next natural predators. After reading the guide your follow up step could be to get a drone hunting permit.

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Digital-Presence

Spy Agencies Infiltrate in Online Games

Gamers in on line environments like World of Warcraft and Second Life may have had encounters with secret agents. The Guardian reports American and British spy agencies have infiltrated into major online environments, suspecting that terrorist were hiding among the elves and goblins.

Read more

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Manufactured Animals

Delivery Drones Are Coming

Drones are typically thought of as flying spying robots, or even worse flying spying shooting robots. But could we also employ drones for good? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos certainly thinks so. In a 60 Minutes interview, he announced that Amazon wants to use octocopters to deliver your order within a half hour at any location you choose.

Read more

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Hypernature

Squared Romanticism

Initially you seem to be looking at just another clichéd landscape painting, but then you discover the branches are squared and things become more interesting.

Is this perhaps a recently discovered late Mondrian painting in which the master of abstraction returned to his landscape painting roots? Or was the tree transported in a square box, before it was planted there to satisfy our longing for a natural landscape?

The squared tree leaves you with the uncanny feeling that the naturalness we habitually indulge in, is merely an illusion presented by a system that aims to remain invisible itself.

Our peculiar image of the week was created by Persijn Broersen & Margit Lucács.