Suburban Utopia

Could Biomimicry Help us Solve the Refugee Crisis?

Millions of people are, in this very moment, in the midst of one of the biggest refugee crisis of the last several decades. The war in Syria and the unstable situation in the middle East is forcing masses of people into Europe, at a pace and scale that is causing incredible strife. Europe’s ability to absorb an ever growing number of refugees (some data points to 1.5 million people in Germany alone) is put into question both by logistical issues – can these people be taken care of in a proper, humane way? As well as by ideological and political matters – do European nations have the obligation to deal with this problem by themselves? What does this entail?

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Innovative Nostalgia

Listening to 3D Printed Records

Amanda Ghassaei, currently a student at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT Media Lab, is a former employee at the do-it-yourself website Instructables.com. Back then she developed ways to 3D print and laser cut vinyl records.

“In order to explore the current limits of 3D printing, I’ve created a technique for converting digital audio files into 3D-printable, 33rpm records that play on ordinary turntables. Though the audio quality is low, the audio output is still easily recognizable – the records have a sampling rate of 11kHz and 5-6 bit resolution”.

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Next Nature

NNN Movement and the First ECO Coin

On the 22nd of October 2015, during the third edition of the talk show Now Future, organized by Dutch Design Week and VPRO in Eindhoven, we officially launched the Next Nature Movement in The Netherlands.

To seal the beginning of the Next Nature Movement, director Koert van Mensvoort donated the first symbolic ECO coin – a currency for nature ecology value – to Age of Wonderland fellow Yoyo Yogasmana for his work in Indonesia, preserving more than 130 existing rice varieties without any use of insecticides.

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Wild Systems

Self-Driving Cars Practice Kids Recognition

There basically is no better moment to get your software adjusted to unpredictable child behavior. This year’s Halloween, Google decided to ask children from the neighborhood to come by in their spooky outfits and play around the self-driving cars in their parking lot. According to Google, the odd costumes gave their sensors extra practice in child recognition, for children in all shapes and sizes.

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Forward to Nature

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Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?

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Wild Systems

The Risk of Technological Unemployment

In a Q&A with Reddit, Stephen Hawking – a man known for both his achievements in the realms of science as well as for his public persona as “Einstein in a wheelchair” – gave his opinion on what technological unemployment, aka machines taking over our jobs, can represent for future human societies.

Elaborating on the topic of technological unemployment, Hawking stated that “If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality”.

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Wild Systems

Watch out for Bullied Robots

Dystopian future scenarios filled with evil robots are everywhere. We are afraid of robots treating us badly, but what will happen if it’ll be the other way around? According to Italian researcher Pericle Salvini, it is predictable that if people ruin static objects, they will not leave moving objects alone. At the same time “bullied” or assaulted robots could be far more dangerous than a vandalized telephone cell.

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Food Technology

Prodigious Yogurt Can Reveal Cancer

We have a wide range of yogurts available in the supermarket: flavored, light, biologic, probiotic, drinkable, the choice is vast. But the yogurt developed by MIT researcher Sangeeta Bhatia has something more. For years she has been studying and researching to simplify the diagnosis of cancer. The result is an extraordinary yogurt that could soon implement accurate, young disease diagnosis.

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