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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BB-rock_big
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.

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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!

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manufactured-landscapes

Nextnatural Sky

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

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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.

Nextnature Event

Join the Buckminster Fuller Challenge

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”Buckminster Fuller

Are you that brilliant visionary mind pondering on a comprehensive solution that will radically advance human well-being and ecosystem health, but lacking the money to realize it? No worries! Simply submit to the Buckminster Fuller Institute, pick up your $100,000 and turn your revolutionary vision into a reality. This is not a spam message, its a design competition. Submissions are due April 16.

Officegarden

Paperless Typewriter

Understanding Next Nature in 4 seconds: A woman is returning to her secretary job after 20 years. Some things have changed while she was raising her kids. At least we still have QWERTY. If you are younger than thirty, you might not get it.

domesticated tree
Hypernature

Tree Caught up in the Matrix

So you thought is was just you, feeling domesticated by the systems around you? Now imagine how this tree must feel wondering “What is the Matrix?”. Peculiar image of the week. Spotted by Piebe van der Storm.

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Food Technology

Eating In Vitro: Meat Paint

Beyond imitating known meat products like steaks and hamburgers, in-vitro meat could give rise to entirely new food products and dining habits.

Paint with meat! is a speculative product for children of 5-10 years old. It allows them to prepare their own meat dish in a very creative, fun and safe way: by painting! The meat paint lets children put some extra effort into their meal, which makes the dinner more valuable and meaningful again. By painting their own meal children get more affinity with their food and are therefore more willing to eat it.

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Back to the Tribe

Cavemen Used ‘Facebook’ Already

Scientists claim to have discovered a “prehistoric version of Facebook” used by ancient tribes to communicate with each other. After analyzing over 3000 rock art images in Sweden and Russia, Mark Sapwell and his team from Cambridge University concluded that the sites functioned like an “archaic related stories version” of social networks where users shared thoughts and emotions and gave stamps of approval to other contributions – very similar to today’s Facebook like.

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