Society of Simulations

VR as a Tool for Social Change

In 2012 the movie Hunger in Los Angeles, by documentary filmmaker and journalist Nonny de la Peña, was presented at Sundance Festival. Despite its shortness (only 3.5 minutes long), it was a major step towards a completely new way of telling stories: immersive journalism. The film presented a real-life situation that happened on a street of LA using a VR technique. Since then, there have been many attempts to turn this playful technology into a serious medium.

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Next Nature

Meet the Weather Drone

The Weather Drone controls the weather: it makes sure the sun will shine on your birthday, or that the rain will fall during a period of drought. The worldwide demand for solutions to atmospheric necessities is critical, therefore the Weather Drone not only monitors the environment, it also helps us manage water resources and alter the climate when needed.

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Paris passed a new law that not only allows locals to plant their own urban garden around the city, but also encourages them in doing so.
Suburban Utopia

Guerilla Gardening in Paris

A Jardin Partagé is a shared community garden born in Lille in 1997. Since its first establishment, this phenomenon has extended across France to stimulate social relationships among the citizens and improve gardening techniques that respect biodiversity. Paris recently approved a new law, which not only allows locals to plant their own urban garden around the city, but also encourages them to develop their green thumb.

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Manufactured Landscapes

Egypt’s First Solar-Powered Village

It’s safe to say there is no shortage of sunlight in the Egyptian desert. While a desert is often seen as a hostile living environment, a village situated around the Bahariya Oasis is demonstrating the contrary. The so-called Tayebat Workers Village is powered by building-integrated solar panels and provides shelter for 350 people, putting sunlight to better use.

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NNN fellows discuss design fiction in Amsterdam
Next Nature

NNN Fellows Discuss Design Fiction

Can fictional design lead to solutions to social problems? What is the point of design fiction if the alternative is feasible? Is this a new hype for designers? Or is fictional design a mere alternative view to social problems? These were some of the questions raised during the second edition of Toekomstplanners at Pakhuis de Zwijger cultural organization in Amsterdam. Among the participants, NNN Fellows Floris Kaayk, Mike Thompson and Susana Camara Leret joined the debate on design fiction.

See the full video of the event here.

Image: Bloodlamp by Thought Collider (Mike Thompson and Susana Camara Leret)

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Next Nature

Meet the Farmer Drone

The Farmer Drone is a hardworking drone that plows the field, grows crops and milks the cows, all on the same day. This octocopter has the ability to work continuously and to accurately cover hundreds of hectares in just one flight. Think about the costs it saves!

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Innovative Nostalgia

2040: the Year We’ll Know How 2000 Was

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines anemoia as the feeling of nostalgia for a time you’ve never known. This word may not be frequently used, but it describes a common feeling. The New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik believes that this longing for the past follows a 40 year cycle, as he explains: “The prime site of nostalgia is always whatever happened, or is thought to have happened, in the decade between forty and fifty years past”. 

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