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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Portrait of MAN

If only this short by Steve Cuts wasn’t so incredibly well made, I would dare to criticize it for promoting a misanthropic perspective on humankind that stands in an outdated Christian tradition, portraying people as a sinful beings that merely destroy the Paradise we were once kicked-out of.

I doubt if such self-hatred is helpful in understanding our human position on the planet. Great animation, still. And at least there is a happy ending. Thanks Ad.


Strawberry Noir

Hypernature ahoy! Behold the Strawberry Noir, a 2050 strawberry breed with high levels of anthocyanin and Vitamin C, and black lace doilies for the fashion market.

The speculative hyperfruit has been envisioned as part of Carole Collet’s research on how we might program plants to grow into ready-to-pick luxury textile products in the future. Should plants be genetically controlled to perform specific functions for us? And if we move further into this alley, what will be the risks, opportunities and design methods?

Catalysts of Evolution

Nature is Dead, Long live Nature

Today the human impact on our planet can hardly be underestimated. Climate change, population explosion, genetic manipulation, digital networks, hurricane control and engineered microbes. Untouched old nature is almost nowhere to be found. “We were here,” echoes all over. This omnipresence of human activity motivated some to announce the end of nature and proclaim a post natural future. Contrary to these observations, I believe that it is not nature that died, disappeared or became obsolete, rather that our notion of nature is changing.

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Happy Meat

While the meat-industry deliberately creates products in which you cannot recognize the animals they are made of, the toy-industry deliberately simplifies and exaggerates animal characteristics into caricature. The Happy Meat project by Type-B combine the best of both worlds in a rather uncanny hybrid. Bon appetit!

Should I Be Afraif of the Future?
Green Blues

Should I be Afraid of…

Beyond the doomsday hype, what should we actually fear for the future? For doom-mongers delight, the Berlin-based design studio Bold Futures made a handy posterinteractive graph of the fatal disasters that might snuff us someday.

Their doom menu ranges from irresponsible human behavior gone astray, to ‘natural’ disasters, to out-of-control technology. Notice that mixing the various scenario’s results in a lethal next nature cocktail. Let’s hope we can avoid such dystopia and manage to plot out a more rewarding track towards the future. Anyhow, we can be sure we will get the next nature we deserve.

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rise and fall
Next Nature

The Rise and Fall or Rayfish Footwear

For almost three years, we worked on a sneaker company that we knew would go bankrupt on the day it was founded. This is our coming out.

The fictional company Rayfish.com offered personalized sneakers crafted from genetically modified stingray leather. The online storytelling project was created to catalyze a debate on emerging biotechnologies and the products it may bring us. It furthermore questioned our consumptive relationship with animals and products in general. While such discussions often remain abstract, we aimed to make them tangible in a concrete product you can love or hate.

The rise and fall of Rayfish Footwear took place within a period of seven months. The story began with the launch of the corporate website, commercial, CEO lecture and online design tool. The startup immediately received significant media attention and seemed bound for success, however, there were also critical petitions against the company’s instrumental use of animals.

While almost ten thousand people had designed their own fish sneaker, animal rights activists broke into the company and released all the fishes in the ocean. The CEO of the company, Dr. Raymond Ong, responded with a passionate video statement, which stirred further debate on our estranged relationship with products in a globalized world.

While Rayfish was struggling to find new investors, the escaped fishes where out in the open and started appearing into video’s of tourists and fishermen. The story ended with the bankruptcy of Rayfish, after which the true objective of the company was revealed and the ‘making of video’ was released.

Seven highly exclusive prototypes of Stingray leather sneakers were created. The leather of the shoes was dyed with paint, rather than genetically modified.

Further information on our motivations, collaborators and supporters can be found on the Rayfish Event webpage. We welcome comments on the Rayfish Facebook page or in the box below. Thanks for participating!

Boomeranged Metaphors

Nature Deficit Disorder

Will this one day be public disease number one? For now, it’s our peculiar image of the week. Thanks Frits.

Fitness Boosters

Human Barbie

Just when you thought the Second Life hype was long gone, meet Ukrainian body artist Valerie Lukyanova who aims to turn Second Life into First Life.

They call her the Human Barbie. She has been posting images & videos of her hypernatural beauty since November last year and her emergence on the internet erupted a virtual firestorm. Many have wondered if she was a hoax, however, her appearance in a television show seems to confirm she is a real lady.

Although we wholeheartedly grant Valerie the morphological freedom to alter her body like a Barbie, we also advise her to read the essay Anthropomorphobia – Exploring the Twilight Zone between Person and Product. It might help understand the uncanniness her fellow members of the human species experience with her appearance.

Via Vmagazine.com. Thanks Janine, Thanks Ronald.

Back to the Tribe

Helmet Crafted from Wood and Cork is just as Safe as Your Plastic and Foam One

Back to the natural future? A startup company in Oregon is manufacturing bike helmets made of wood and cork that should meet or surpass the impact performance of plastic and foam helmets. The latest advancements in industrial technology such as computer aided designing and CNC machining make it possible to use traditional materials to replace high-tech synthetics, which can mean shortening, localizing, and decentralizing industrial supply chains. However, a speciality product like wooden bike helmets made from locally sourced materials is sure to be marketed and shipped worldwide, at least until the patent runs out.

Via Gizmodo, Thanks Jake Greear.


Architect Aims to Build House From Plastic Waste

Some years ago we wrote about the utterly nextnatural proposal by WHIM architects to create floating city composed of plastics from the great pacific garbage patch – a concentration of plastic litter in the central North Pacific about the size of France.

Although the proposal was highly speculative, they deserved kudos for perceiving the plastics in the Earths ecosystem as building material rather than waste. Now they want to get practical and construct the first floating villa of plastic waste material.

As we write, their Kickstarter project has gathered only $676, but that can quickly change if the billionaire readers of this website step in, no? Click here to get your unique villa from plastic material for only $70.000.

Food Technology

Eating In-Vitro: Rustic In Vitro

Many people still find in vitro meat too alien and artificial to put it in their mouths. With the Rustic In Vitro incubator, this outdated perception is about to change. Similar to old-fashioned sausages and hams hung to cure in the butcher’s or at home, Rustic In Vitro is grown in a familiar-looking incubator that reminds us of the good old days. Rustic In-Vitro incubators come in various shapes designed to simulate rabbit, boar or cattle. The more time it has to ripen, the more structure and character the replicating meat cells will develop. Progressive nostalgia ahoy!

Designed by Marjolein Kors for the Eating in Vitro series.

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.

Food Technology

Mainstream Perceptions on In Vitro Meat

Nothing wrong with a bit of juicy television on ‘In Vitro’ meat. We propose to lock this video in a time capsule so that our kids can watch it and be horrified in 30 years or so.

Food Technology

Eating In-Vitro: Meat-Fruit

La Pâte Meat Fruit aims to seduce and inspire diners with an entirely new eating experience that balances eating meat and fruit. In vitro technology is used to grow meat structures that precisely mimic those of various existing fruits such as berries, oranges, and mangoes. The result is used to create La Pâte, a sweet-savory amuse-bouche ideal for Michelin-starred restaurants. Besides the joy of fusing fruit and meat into one exclusive hypernatural dining experience, meat-fruit is also a celebration of our unisex culture. In contrast to our prehistoric past where men hunted and women gathered, we now live in a post-masculine, post-feminist society where gender doesn’t matter like before. Meat-fruit exemplifies the perfect blend between male and female.

Designed by Aylin Groenewoud for the Eating in Vitro series.

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.

Food Technology

First tasting of Printed Meat

Biological physicist Gabor Forgacs normally works on the “printing” of new organs for use in clinical trials, however, his technology could also be used to bioprint meat. In the first demonstration of its kind, Forgacs heats and eats a tasty morsel on stage.

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.