Corals are the master builders of the animal kingdom. Powered on plankton and their symbiotic algae, hard corals extract the carbon dissolved in seawater and turn it into their calcium carbonate skeletons. Now a company is trying to replicate this process, not to grow reefs, but to create cement.
Cement, though it may seem like a neutral material, is a massive source of carbon emissions. The cement industry is responsible for 5% of global carbon emissions, with each ton of cement producing a ton of CO2. Biomineralization expert Brent Constantz hopes to green the production of cement by capturing flue gases from factories, running them through a saline solution, and using electricity to convert the gases into solids. For 542 million years, corals have been sequestering carbon dissolved in water. Constantz’s company Calera may have figured out how to do the same on a much shorter time scale.
Normally a house cat would not stand a chance against a dangerous pit-bull dog. But with a little help of an electric vacuum cleaning robot, supersmart cat Max-Arthur emancipates himself from its presumed fate. Don’t you just love it when old nature and nextnature come together?!
It works like this. Position yourself with a friend in front of a battery hen and flap your arms as fast as you can when the music sets in. The harder you flap the faster your bird will move towards a hole in the chain fence – which means freedom!
This installation was displayed at the Village Fete at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where young British designers show their talents. One of them, the creator of Flap to Freedom, is Chris O’Shea, an artist and designer who uses technology to create interactive environments.
O’Shea’s work shows that machines and technology can respond to human needs in a fun and playful way. However, Flap to Freedom doesn’t work like a rollercoaster or DVD player. Through the interaction emerges a certain connection between human and machine that could change our perception of them. It stands in the tradition of Philippe Starck’s design, which is intended to give the object a place in the human environment. The device becomes our companion and colleague.
Watch the video here.
Mediamatic is hosting a pop-up urban mushroom farm in the middle of Amsterdam. Rows and rows of shiitake, oyster, and the elusive almond-flavored Agaricus subrufescens are sprouting on metal shelves. With its experimental vibe, Paddestoelen Paradijs (Mushroom Paradise) proves that mushrooms might just be our best friends in the age of resource scarcity. They grow off dead, decaying, and often discarded organic matter, are low emission, and their roots can produce a material that’s stronger than wood, as light as packing foam, and completely biodegradable.
Click through to see a living wall, the Christian mushroom cult, and Philosopher’s Stones.
Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO, passed away on Wednesday October 5th after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Technology conceived from his vision has changed the world dramatically over the past 14 years. He kissed the snake; we eat the fruit. The Next Nature garden has entered a new era.
Associate professor Anne Trubek argues that handwriting will soon be history, because writing words by hand is a technology that’s just too slow for our times, and our minds. A copy-paste summary from her essay:
“Handwriting has been around for just 6,000 of humanity’s some 200,000 years. Its effects have been enormous, of course: It alters the brain, changes with civilizations, cultures and factions, and plays a role in religious and political battles.”
“Most of us know, but often forget, that handwriting is not natural. We are not born to do it. There is no genetic basis for writing. Writing is not like seeing or talking, which are innate. Writing must be taught.”
Looking for a new kitchen counter-top, but can’t decide between a natural or an artificial material? Soon you might be getting both.
Designer Hironori Yoshida is pioneering hybrids of wood and plastic – to be used in interior, furniture and product design. His ‘woodplastic’ is created by scanning & laser-cutting the grain patterns in a piece of wood to subsequently replace the gaps with a polyester resin. The result is a marriage of the made & the born.