koert_van_mensvoort_2008

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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Food Technology

Living Food

What if our food was still alive when served on our plate? Minsu Kim, a graduate from the Royal College Of Art, created a wonderful series of dishes consisting of hypernatural living organisms that wiggle on your plate, play with your cutlery and evoke whole new taste sensations in your mouth.

The dishes walk the fine line between luster and disgust and find its lineage in haute cuisine and molecular gastronomy. Extreme-connoisseurs only!

Via Dezeen, Thanks Floris.

Do you want to know more about the future of meat? We are writing a speculative cookbook of in-vitro meat dishes, join us on www.bistro-invitro.com.

Biomimicmarketing

How to Grow a Beer Bottle

Over the years we have seen quite a few growing bottles, ranging from the classic Orangina bottle, to a bottle you can peel like a piece of fruit, to growing Heinz ketchup bottles. Yet, arguably, this growing beer bottle is the weirdest we have seen so far.

Apparently the biomimic-marketeers wanted to promote an all natural beer, so they envisioned a futuristic scenario in which beer bottles grow straight from the hop plants. Although any sufficiently technology will be indistinguishable from nature, we doubt that we will still drink beer from bottles by the time we are capable of such advanced guided growth. It is interesting, still, that a so-called natural beer is now marketed by portraying an utterly technological process.

Thanks to Alice for the heads-up.

carrying sniffer
Augmented Bodies

Sniffer – Meet the Google Nose

We increasingly use digital technology to augment our senses, but we rarely realize that other senses are numbed in the process. Smell is a good example of a powerful sense that is hardly articulated in our technological culture. Designer Lloyd Alberts envisioned a speculative product called the Sniffer, which allows you to visualize scent in a Google glass style. Watch the video for an impression of its use in everyday life.

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Anthropomorphobia

We are already Cyborgs

Buckle up for another cinematic espresso shot from our favorite performance philosopher Jason Silva, who recently also appeared on the wonderful London Real.
If you care for a longer version of the ‘We are already Cyborg’ argument check out Amber Chase.

Back to the Tribe

Kid Convinces Mother to go Vegan

While numerous children nowadays believe the woods smell of shampoo, there are also some critical young minds out there, willing to question things. Meet Luiz Antonio. When his mother tells him to eat his octopus, little Luiz responds by asking his mother where the octopus comes from and how it ended up on his plate. The mother explains the situation to Luiz, after which he responds with a pleading that drives his mother to tears.

modern_fatamorgana_picture_by_dennis_van_Tilburg
Biomimicmarketing

Modern Fata Morgana

Imagine bumping into a cola dispenser after a hike in the pristine Canadian forests for three days. Would you believe your eyes? Must be a modern Fata Morgana.

It happened to Dennis van Tilburg, who sent us this peculiar image of the week. The biomimic-marketing on the can dispenser only adds peculiar points to the scene. We are living in postcard nature.

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Hypernature

Baseball Rocks

Our peculiar image of the week invites us to reflect upon the status of everyday artifacts like a baseball. Tomorrows Fossils? The rocks were fitted with a leather string by artist Elizabeth de Maray. A real baseball can be seen in the background.

Catalysts of Evolution

Let’s Build a Garden on Mars

Typically the impact of humanity on plant life is not always positive: Deforestation, decrease of diversity, soil pollution. Doom and gloom are all around. Hence, our delight to learn there are also people dedicating their time and energy to the expansion of plant life. Surely if they do it in such remarkable ways.

Astrobiologist Dr. Louisa Preston and Designer Vanessa Harden propose to build a garden on Mars. Thats not easy. One would need a gardening robot, fitted plant species and some kind of dome structure for the plants to grow in. These two young women now started a kickstarter campaign to realize their project.

Arguably, we owe it to our fellow carbon bases plant species, to employ our space rockets to their benefit, helping them to inhabit new worlds. Additionally, the astro plants may also provide human space travelers in their nutritious needs.

Go to the kickstarter campaign.

robot-skin
Anthropomorphobia

Electric Skin Could Allow Robots to Feel

There are plenty of robot arms out there, but what about the skin to cover them in? A new kind of piezotronic transistor mesh could make for robotic skin that’s as sensitive as your own is, covered in thousands of tiny mechanical hairs.

The inventor of the technology, Zhong Lin Wan from Georgia Tech, says it has immediate applications in human-machine interfaces. It could for example be used to capture electronic signatures by recording the distinctive force an individual applies while signing. In due time, Wan expects the pressure sensor arrays could equip robotics and prosthetics with a human-like sense of touch.

Via Gizmodo, via Techreview.

Biocustomization

Lets Grow a Glowing Plant

Four years ago we wrote about a vision to create bioluminescent trees that would replace streetlights. This dream is getting just a little bit closer, now that a team of Stanford trained synthetic biologists led by Antony Evans launched a Kickstarter campaign to grow glowing plants.

Using Genome Compiler software, the team is ready to input bio-luminescence genes into a mustard plant and have it be naturally glowing. Natural lighting with no electricity. Hypernature ahoy!

nextnature_sky
manufactured-landscapes

Nextnatural Sky

Every cloud you see is an airplane. Peculiar image of the week.

The-Panamanian-golden-fro-010
Biomimicmarketing

Next Nature saves Old Nature

Who would have thought synthetic organisms would ever be employed to save endangered species? Conservation biologist worried about the extinction of exotic frog populations are calling the help of synthetic biologists to avoid disaster.

Currently, a fungus epidemics with the eerie name batrachochytrium dendrobatidis threatens more than 2,800 amphibian species. The depicted Panamanian golden frog has already been pushed close to extinction by fungal disease, but conservationists believe the tragedy could be countered by a new generation of synthetically manipulated organisms.

“We face the prospect of losing a great deal from the natural world and we have to think of solutions that could be generated by all sorts of different techniques, including those involved in synthetic biology.” conservation biologist Kent Redford told the Guardian.

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"In the Wilderness" by Koert van Mensvoort, 2008
Nextnature Event

Our Image of Nature is Naïve

A while ago I tried to make a landscape paintings as seen on the Bob Ross television show, yet thing turned out a little bit different in my wilderness.

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Designed-by-Evolution

Synthetic Biology for Dummies

Arguably the most accessible synthetic biology explanation video we have seen so far. From selective breeding to genetic modification, as our understanding of biology is merging with the principles of engineering into a new discipline called synthetic biology.

Written, animated and directed by James Hutson, Bridge8.