Pyramid of Technology

How technology becomes nature

Every human being has to cope with technological change, yet few of us are aware of how new technologies are introduced, accepted and discarded in our society. The Pyramid of Technology visualizes how technology becomes nature in seven steps and what we can learn from that. It helps us to dream, build and live in our next nature – the nature caused by humans.

From Model to Method

The Pyramid of Technology describes the seven levels at which technology may function in our life. Technologies may move up and down the pyramid, while lower stages need to be fulfilled before the next stage can be attained. At the bottom of the pyramid we find technologies that are envisioned, meaning that they only exist as an idea or image (such as the time machine). At the top we find technologies that became naturalized, they are part of our human nature (such as clothing and cooking).

The Pyramid of Technology Toolkit

This workshop-in-a-box helps to better understand and discuss technology, to facilitate brainstorming and catalyze innovative processes. Question Cards stimulate debate, Insight Cards visualize technology dynamics and Workshop Cards provide ten off-the-shelf exercises for you, your co-workers or your client.

– 70 Question Cards
– 10 Insight Cards
– 10 Workshop Cards
– Essay Pyramid of Technology


The toolkit contains 70 question cards, linked to the levels in the pyramid. Each card features a visual, a short explanation and instructions that help you to integrate the question into your process. In a playful way, they facilitate technology and innovation assessment from a next nature perspective.

Book a Next Nature Workshop

NNN organizes workshops during which we make use of a physical Pyramid of Technology as conceptual tool. The content of these workshops is built around the next nature concept and related themes such as ‘Next Senses’ or ‘The Artificial Womb’, but may as well be tailor made according to specific needs. For more information, please contact workshops[at]

Essay by Koert van Mensvoort

Pyramid of Technology

How Technology Becomes Nature in Seven Steps.

From stone-axes to mobile phones, throughout history people have given birth to a wide range of technologies that extend our given physical and mental capabilities. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine a world without technology. Every human being on the planet employs technology of some sort, and every human has to cope with technological change at various points during his or her lifetime.…

Read more

‘Truly advanced technology will be part of human nature’

Koert van Mensvoort


The Pyramid of Technology is a concept originally developed by Hendrik-Jan Grievink and Koert van Mensvoort in 2011.

This is a product of Next Nature Network © 2017.
ISBN 978-90-824385-4-3

Author: Koert van Mensvoort
Editors: Tijn Borghuis, Joep Huiskamp

Concept: Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Koert van Mensvoort
Creative direction: Koert van Mensvoort
Art direction and design: Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Visuals: Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Ioana Tomici, Alejandro Alvarez
Box design: Alejandro Alvarez
Copywriting and editing: Margherita Olivo, Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Koert van Mensvoort
Proofreading: Lotte Mertens, Lewis Just
Photography box: Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Photography workshop: Nichon Glerum

Concept: Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Facilitators: Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Lewis Just


Platform Academische Vorming, in particular Anthonie Meijers and Berry Eggen (University of Technology Eindhoven) for providing the opportunity to publish the Pyramid of Technology essay; Richard van der Laken for inviting us to kickstart the first workshop at What Design Can Do; Agata Nowotny, Agata Szydłowska and Monika Rosinska for allowing us to test-drive the workshop concept in Warsaw (Poland), Agata Kiedrowicz for her collaboration on refining the workshop concept in Wroclaw and Łodz (Poland); Coralie Vogelaar, Mieke Gerritzen, Allison Guy, Thomas Castro, Femke Herregraven for their valuable input; De Monsterkamer for paper advice and of course the fantastic team at Next Nature Network, without our inspiring lunch conversations and testing sessions this project would not have become what it is.

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