Not knowing what hanging up the phone means
Innovative Nostalgia

What Is Next Nature? #14

“I’m sliding my finger to the right of the screen to answer the call” is the modern translation of “I’m picking up the phone”. Even to the younger generation, who have never literally picked up or hung up the phone, the contemporary version sounds odd. But hanging up the phone really doesn’t make any sense today. Phrases like “rewinding the tape”, “dialing the phone”, or “cranking the engine” are called skeuonyms, expressions left over from a technology no longer used.

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.

Information Decoration

53 Shades of Blue

On the main street of Ljubljana, Slovenia – green capital of Europe – artist Martin Bricelj Baraga set up a sculpture that measures the blueness of the sky. The self-sufficient installation fully operates on solar energy and functions both as monument and as open source software, which visualizes the air quality of the city. The work pays homage to the 18th century ‘Cyanometer’ attributed to Horace-Benedict de Saussure, a Swiss physicist who designed a circular tool to systematically document the blueness on a scale of fifty-three shades of blue, ranging from white to black. See for yourself!

Source: Designboom

Feeling as if the world comes to a hold during a black out
Wild Systems

What Is Next Nature? #13

In some urban areas blackouts are more common than others, but few areas have never underwent one. Anyone who has experienced a blackout is well aware of how dependent we are on electricity. Apparently the Internet cannot function without it! Which means that instant communication is out too. Although most clocks will keep ticking, time itself seems to lose meaning. Without electricity everything stops. The digital world is so thoroughly interwoven with the real world that we forget that software needs working hardware. For an unknown interval we live in a different world where only physical presence matters. As long as it is temporary, it might feel like a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, though, you’ve pressed the save-button first.

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.

Manufactured Landscapes

Copy-Paste City: from Austria to China

As the saying goes “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, so Hallstatt – a small UNESCO World Heritage city in central Austria – can feel really proud. Among numerous fake Italian villas and French palaces, it is the only village in the world entirely copied and rebuilt in China. State-owned developer Minmetals constructed it in the suburbs of Huizhou, in the southern part of the country.

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The advent of digital communications media is bringing along some health conditions.
Intimate Technology

What Is the Selfie Elbow?

The advent of digital media has brought along some health conditions. For some years now, we have seen reports involving gamer’s wrist, text neck, Blackberry thumb and iPad hand. What these conditions have in common is that they are all forms of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), adversely affecting our muscles that may be caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks. Recently a new injury was added to the list of tech ache, the selfie elbow.

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Food Technology

This Robot will Grow Food in Your Backyard

The FarmBot Genesis is a farming machine designed for at-home automated food production. The autonomous robot can be installed atop and around a small garden – in your backyard, on a rooftop, or inside a greenhouse. FarmBot performs nearly the entire gardening process prior to harvesting, including planting the seeds, watering each plant precisely and on a set schedule, monitoring conditions and removing weeds. You can pre-order your own FarmBot kit for $3,900.