TREEWifi Amsterdam startup
Suburban Utopia

Good Air Quality? You Get Free WiFi

TreeWiFi is an innovative project by an Amsterdam-based startup. They are building birdhouses equipped with a sensor to measure the quality of the air. The sensors used are much cheaper than regular sensors, allowing them to keep the installation of such birdhouses quite low-cost, with the only addiction of a WiFi router.

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Office Garden

World’s First 3D Printed Building

The various advantages of 3D printing technology are widely known. According to some, it will radically change how we look at the world in the near future. From healthcare to design, it is already breaking rules and opening many possibilities. Traditional methods of building and food production will probably become obsolete in the next 50 to 100 years. The latest 3D printed breakthrough come from Dubai. They’re calling it the ‘office of the future’ and it is the first completely 3D printed office building.

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car chased from bees for 2 days
Suburban Utopia

Bees to the Rescue of Their Queen

Our peculiar image of the week shows a bee stuck in a woman’s car, but this is no regular insect, we’re talking about the queen. As a consequence, a swarm of bees chased the trunk for two entire days looking for her. Another fascinating example of bee’s dedication to their queen. These worker bees could detect her exact location thanks to a specific pheromone she emits. Tom Moses, national park ranger and bee enthusiast, spotted the 20.000 bees and made sure they were treated with care, because ultimately every bee is precious lately. This honey-making insect is alarmingly disappearing, while being incredibly essential to our environment.

Image via Tom Moses

Using your two eyes to watch three screens at once
Information Decoration

What Is Next Nature? #4

We often divide our attention between multiple screens at once. Watching television, chatting, browsing, gaming, emailing and scanning social media, we like to combine these activities simultaneously. A growing part of our lives enfolds itself inside screens. Life seems easier there, richer in color, happier and more exciting. But once you’re drawn in, it’s difficult to get out. It wants you to stay there, it cries for your attention: it buzzes, rings and lights up until you cannot ignore it any longer. Do you still dare to look away?

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.

Manufactured Landscapes

A Search Engine for Satellite Imagery

Terrapattern is a new search engine that allows users to seek out similar-looking locations from aerial perspective and finds connections between different landscapes and human-built environments. Its potential is very wide, it is a powerful tool for everyone, from researchers to designers or artists. The concept is simple, you click on a single place on the map, like a tennis court or a pool, then the search engine works its magic. A clever algorithm ties together similar shapes of different colors and shapes, giving the user a unique selection of similar environments.

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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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china's internet cafes
Wild Systems

Who Are These Trolls Invading China?

China always had a peculiar relationship with the Internet. It has been intermittent until 1994 and never really free. The government saw it as a danger, but also as a very powerful weapon that they have to control, therefore they implemented a massive surveillance and content control system. As politics in China put great effort into propaganda, they use it as an unbeatable tool of dissemination of news to assure public order. Since 2008 China is also the largest population on the Internet (700M), it goes without saying that it is placed under the supervision of the Chinese Republic itself.

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Vacation in the Era of Sea Pollution
Plastic Planet

Vacation in the Era of Marine Pollution

Have you ever been to the beach and been attacked by a seagull for a potato chip? These birds choose this food over their natural selection because people-food is in more abundance and relatively easy to get. Think about it. Seagulls and other shore animals can rely (not that they should) with a steady supply of food from June – August. And every year we flock to beaches in ever-growing numbers. To meet the demands of so many consumers, towns have developed their fragile coastal and marine ecosystems into housing and recreational facilities.

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Virtual Signalling

Let’s Talk About Virtue Signalling

Are you eager to tell the world how morally righteous and virtuous you are? Do you want to increase your perceived social capital by broadcasting how much you believe the “right” things? Do you want to be seen as a champion of the poor, the weak and all the other good causes? Before, this would require an actual effort of going out and actually do some good. But now, with virtue signalling, the joys of moral superiority are just one click away!

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Manufactured Landscapes

Foster’s Prototype for a Droneport

Last year we talked about Norman Foster’s project for a Droneport. Now a full-scale prototype has been presented at the latest Venice architecture Biennale. The works to build the world’s first airport for drones will start this year in Rwanda. The Droneport will provide aid and support to inaccessible regions. By 2020, when the technology will improve, drones will be capable of lifting up to 20 pounds or more, covering distances of hundreds of kilometers throughout Africa.

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Feeding your rabbit a carrot-free diet
Food Technology

What Is Next Nature? #3

It might come as a surprise that rabbits do not really eat carrots. Bugs Bunny eats carrots, but in the natural habitat of wild rabbits this root vegetable is not part of their diet. However, rabbits do have an appetite for carrots as a snack, as most rabbit owners will know. Yet, they shouldn’t feed carrots to their rabbits. Due to selective breeding, carrots contain high levels of sugar, which rabbits are evolutionary unaccustomed to. This can make the rabbit hyperactive and may cause other adverse health effects.

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.