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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Animals Doing Extreme Stunts

Watch this video packed with elephants, giraffes, turtles and ostriches doing extreme stunts and realize how peculiarly creative we humans really are.

Disclaimer for animal rights activists: all animal stunts in this video campaign for France 3 were created with the magic of computer graphics, so there is no need to call PETA. Via Sploid

manufactured-landscapes

Monster Machine Swallows Tree in 15 Sec

They are called excavator mulchers, but that’s an understatement. What they really do is swallow trees. The video is 3 minutes, but you really only need to see the first 15 seconds, which is the time it takes the mulcher monster to consume a 9 meter-tall, mature spruce – starting at the top, landing at the bottom.

The tree that was, suddenly isn’t. Technosphere vs Biosphere: 1-0, it seems. But then you calculate how many trees need to be burned to provide the mulcher with enough energy to swallow one tree. Not entirely cradle to cradle. We wonder if the monster mulchers also do Antenna Tree masts.

Via NPR

Next Nature

Meet Humanity beyond Race, it’s Beautiful

For centuries, racial differences have defined the borders between tribes and classes, feeding discrimination and xenophoby. But with the arrival of the global village, interracial relationships are becoming norm rather than exception.

In a matter of years we’ll have mingled ourselves into one giant amalgamated mega-race. But what will we look like? National Geographic built its 125th anniversary issue around this very question, calling on writer Lise Funderburg and Martin Schoeller, a renowned photographer and portrait artist, to capture the lovely faces of our nation’s multiracial future. Meet the people beyond race.

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Anthropocene

Auto Paint Stones

No, these beautiful stones aren’t formed from crystallized silicia over millions of years. They were formed in only a few years from layers of paint in old car factories.

The colorful layered objects are called Fordites and take their name from agate stones for their visual resemblance.

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Anthropomorphobia

Robotic Furniture puts IKEA to Shame

While science fiction taught us to think of robots as human-like beings, the ones that actually make it into your home will more likely look like furniture. A team at the EPFL Biorobotics Laboratory in Switzerland is developing multipurpose robotic building blocks, called Roombots, that put your regular furniture to shame.

The robotic furniture can self-assemble into a chair and move across the room with you in it, and reassemble into a table that delivers you a glass of water. The researchers created a video that shows them in action.

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Co-Evolution

Razorius Gilletus Flexball Subspecies

Regular readers of this blog know we closely monitor razor technology as a symbol of our co-evolutionary relationship with technology. This basically means that, like the bees and the flowers, people and technology are intertwined in mutual dependence: we serve our technology as much as it serves us. And just like humans, technology wants to prosper, propagate and grow. The blindness ‘innovation’ of shaving razors, with more and more blades, strips and grips, exemplifies this development.

The latest subspecies in the Razorius line is the Razorius Gilletus Flexball. While the Gillete Corporation proclaims they have reinvented shaving, others argue Gillette’s new razor is everything that’s wrong with America.

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Information Decoration

Styles for Anti-Face Detection

Face-recognition technology is arriving. Surveillance cameras can already pick out individual faces of suspects, and soon even smartphone app may allow you to identify strangers on the street and look up their Facebook page.

Neo-tribal privacy loving make up style that helps you avoid face recognition
Neo-tribal privacy-loving make-up style designed to avoid face recognition

In anticipation of the emerging face-recognition technology, privacy-lovers have been developing anti-face-recognition camouflage strategies for some time now. More recently, designer and technologists Adam Harvey reverse-engineered the algorithms behind face detection.

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Back to the Tribe

The Tribes We Lead

New technology may revive ancient impulses. In this TED talk Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and that it brings us back to the tribe.
Founded on shared ideas and values, tribal structures may give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges everyone to start a tribe today.

manufactured-landscapes

Technosphere Monitors the Biosphere

We all know deforestation is a major global issue, but it’s hard to quantify just how serious the problem is. According to a wide spread anecdote, 36 football fields’ worth of forest is lost every minute, but this is only the beginning of the story.

Just where are forests disappearing, and where are they returning? The rise and fall of the Earths forests can now be tracked ‘real time’ through a new mapping tool called Global Forest Watch.

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Biomimicry

Design by Termite

Why not outsource your laser engraving jobs to termites? It is cheap, messy and time consuming, but you’ll definitely get a unique and personal result. For more on how to design with living matter, head over to the IDEO Made in the Future site.

Humane-Technology

Beyond the Possible with Floris Kaayk

Futuristic visions, fantasies and concepts. A maker of fictive documentaries, artist Floris Kaayk confronts us with the impossible. With Human Birdwings, a man with kite-like wings takes off, the dream of human flight suddenly occurs before our eyes. The media project went viral, before Kaayk ultimately revealed himself as the alter ego of the so-called ‘inventor’ Jarno Smeets.

Want to meet Floris in person and find out more about his projects? Next thursday 13 March 2014 20:00-21:00, Floris will kick-off a Next Nature lecture series with a presentation on his vision and projects at Hôtel Droog in Amsterdam.

Green Blues

The Arctic Leisure Resort

While the Arctic ice continues to melt, new business opportunities are within reach. Not only for gas and oil companies, but also for tourism. If the global warming trend continues, we might be able to take the whole family on a trip to the North Pole someday. At least according to this spoof commercial our friends at Studio Smack made for Greenpeace.

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