Tag: Suburban Utopia

BB-rock_big
Hypernature

Baseball Rocks

Our peculiar image of the week invites us to reflect upon the status of everyday artifacts like a baseball. Tomorrows Fossils? The rocks were fitted with a leather string by artist Elizabeth de Maray. A real baseball can be seen in the background.

shape-shifting house
Dynamic-architecture

Shape-Shifting House Acts like a Flower

Imagine your home adapting itself to seasonal, meteorological and even astronomical conditions by changing its shape. D*Dynamic is based on the discovery of mathematician Henry Ernest Dudeney, who found a way to turn a perfect square into an equilateral triangle.

During wintertime the house curls up by contracting the internal walls to thick external walls, minimizing the energy needed for heating. Conversely, on a warm summer day, it will fold out and extend itself. To put it differently, the house resembles the principle of human arteries that expand or contract to preserve the core temperature of your body.

However, there is more in store. The house can direct and rotate itself towards the sun to collect solar energy. If there is sunlight the house could rotate to let it stream into the living room. Or, you might program the house to welcome the morning sun into your bedroom. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up and to have the sun always there to greet you?

If you envision the concept on a slightly larger scale it might make complete neighborhoods more dynamic. Would it mean that you get new neighbors depending on weather conditions? It would certainly be a new way to get to know the people in your town.

Via Daily Mail.

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Image-Consumption

Gated Communities: In Or Out?

Anthropologist Setha Low, one of the first to study the subject, defines gated community as “residential developments surrounded by walls, [and] fences” with a “structured entrance”; or, as estate agents nicely put it, exclusive property that sums- for those who can afford it- the much needed three P’s: privacy, protection and prestige.

Known as “Cerradas” in Mexico,  “condomínios fechados” in Brasil or more eloquently as security estates in post-apartheid South Africa, the concept of a community defending itself from outside violence is, in a way, an ancient practice (think of Medieval fortress or, even before, walled Romans settlements). At first very popular in The States, where the first “self-contained suburban utopias,” sprung around 1850, gated communities are since the last decade a cross continental rising trend.

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nextnature_sky
manufactured-landscapes

Nextnatural Sky

Every cloud you see is an airplane. Peculiar image of the week.

paris beehive
Back to the Tribe

High-Priced Honey from Parisian Rooftops

Across Paris, bees and their keepers have been taking advantage of the city’s pesticide-free parks, gardens and flowerbeds to produce pricey honey. The otherwise unused rooftops of many Parisian landmarks are now home to hundreds of thousands of bees. The exclusivity of the real estate shows in the cost: The world’s most expensive honey – E 15 for 150 grams – comes from the roof of Palais Garnier, the city’s grand opera house.

Image: A keeper fumigates the hives atop Saint-Denis. Story via Skyscraper City. Thanks to Wessel de Jong for the tip.  

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Back to the Tribe

Modern Cave Painting

Primitive man lived in caves. He used the surface of these caves as a canvas (*) to make representations of the things that surrounded him: animals and hunting, stories of magic and ritual, which helped him to make sense of the world.

Over the years, his cave has changed quite a bit: today, it comes on four wheels and in bright, shiny colors. In their turn, tribes of other cavemen use them as canvasses for their own art. An art which in itself has become more primitive and abstract, or minimal and conceptual if you want. It doesn’t nessecarily want to tell a story, or say something about the world outside the cave. Rather, it seems to refer to the cave itself. Instead of making representations of magic and rites, the creative act itself has become the ritual. Now drive me back to the tribe!

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Anthropocene

Cliff Swallows Are Evolving to Avoid Cars

Cliff swallows, as their name suggests, like to build nests on cliffs and other rocky outcroppings. They also like building their nests on bridges and overpasses, and sunbathe on warm roads. This puts them in the path of traffic, and adds thousands of swallows to the nearly 80 million birds killed by cars each year in the US. Swallows in the state of Nebraska, however, appear to be getting wise to the ways of the highway – or at least their genes are.

Researchers at the University of Nebraska have been collecting swallow bodies along several highways for the last thirty years. Not only have the total number of fatalities decreased over this time, but the wing length of the birds has also been decreasing. The swallows, it seems, are evolving to become more nimble. Shorter wings makes it easier to take off vertically or to quickly maneuver around vehicles. Time to add “vehicular selection” to the sub-categories of “natural” selection.

Via Smithsonian Magazine. Photo via Nebirdsplus.

Taken From http://www.viktorhertz.com/50717/439429/gallery/honest-logos
Global-Image-Economy

Truly Honest Branding

For a fresh perspective on modern branding and honesty, and as a parallel to Next Nature’s own vision of the honest egg, have a look at the work of Viktor Hertz. A designer from Uppsala in Sweden, Hertz decided to follow the idea of brand honesty to its logical conclusion by visualizing a complete range of outcomes.

Companies routinely spend thousands to hundreds of thousands on logos and branding aimed at putting a positive gloss over their products. What if the downsides couldn’t be hidden in the small print or conveniently omitted, and had to be up front in the branding? Viktor calls his set “Honest Logos”.

The full set of designs after the jump…

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chips
Food Technology

How Food Scientists Engineer the “Bliss Point” in Junk Food

Over at the New York Times, a recent article exposes the clever and surprisingly immoral ways the food industry manufactures foods to rival hard drugs for their addictive potential. Well worth the read, the article discusses “designer sodium”, the genesis of the ideal kid’s lunch, and the search for the morphine-like “bliss point” in soda. One scientist’s description of Cheetos, in particular, highlighted the extraordinary detail that goes into what we see as a normal, familiar food:

“This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.” Read more

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Food Technology

Eating In Vitro: Meat Paint

Beyond imitating known meat products like steaks and hamburgers, in-vitro meat could give rise to entirely new food products and dining habits.

Paint with meat! is a speculative product for children of 5-10 years old. It allows them to prepare their own meat dish in a very creative, fun and safe way: by painting! The meat paint lets children put some extra effort into their meal, which makes the dinner more valuable and meaningful again. By painting their own meal children get more affinity with their food and are therefore more willing to eat it.

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