Tag: Technorhetoric


Next Nature Emergency Blanket

In 1964, NASA developed a new material consisting of a thin sheet of plastic, coated with a metallic reflecting agent. A thin sheet of plastic coated with a metallic reflecting agent proved resistance to the hostile space environment, large temperature range and resistance to ultraviolet radiation. As a spinoff, this material is now widely used as ‘survival’ blanket in emergency situations or extreme sports, usually to protects its users against forces of ‘old’ nature (cold, heat, rain, wind).

This Next Nature Survival Blanket however, protects against the forces of next nature: drone attacks, electrosmog, internet fail, et cetera.

Concept: Koert van Mensvoort, Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Design: Hendrik-Jan Grievink

The Next Nature Emergency Blanket is especially developed for the exhibition Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands at the Deutsches Museum in Munich (Germany) which runs from December 5, 2014 to January 31, 2016.


Humans Need Not Apply

Warning, this video on the impact of automation on human labor might cause you to re-plot you professional career. Via Tegenlicht.


How Technology becomes Nature

From stone-axes to mobile phones, throughout history people have given birth to a wide range of technologies. 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. Yet, despite our deep-rooted relationship with technology, most of us are still relatively unaware of how new technologies are introduced, accepted or discarded within our society.

In this talk at TEDxGhent, our own Dr. Van Mensvoort shows how technology becomes nature in seven steps and what engineers, inventors, designers and entrepreneurs can learn from that. The talk is based on the essay Pyramid of Technology, which is also available as a booklet + poster.


What Bits Want

Digital bits have lives. They work for us, but we totally ignore them. What do bits really want? Here are the life stories of four different bits.


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Anti-Drone Tent

Sarah van Sonsbeecks Anti Drone Tent is a small construction of emergency blankets that blocks infrared sensing, making it invisible to drones.

Isn’t it ironic. While originally humans started employing technology to emancipate ourselves from the forces of old nature – think of a roof above your head to withstand wind and rain – these technologies over time caused the rising of a next nature. And we now need to emancipate ourselves from the forces of technology.

The Anti Drone tent is currently on display at the Drone Camping at Mediamatic.


Monster Machine Swallows Tree in 15 Sec

They are called excavator mulchers, but that’s an understatement. What they really do is swallow trees. The video is 3 minutes, but you really only need to see the first 15 seconds, which is the time it takes the mulcher monster to consume a 9 meter-tall, mature spruce – starting at the top, landing at the bottom.

The tree that was, suddenly isn’t. Technosphere vs Biosphere: 1-0, it seems. But then you calculate how many trees need to be burned to provide the mulcher with enough energy to swallow one tree. Not entirely cradle to cradle. We wonder if the monster mulchers also do Antenna Tree masts.



My Device is in the Sky

Here is one for the weekend folks. Illustration by Michael Leuning. Peculiar image of the week. And lets not forget: Truly advanced technology will be light as sunshine.


Razorius Gilletus Flexball Subspecies

Regular readers of this blog know we closely monitor razor technology as a symbol of our co-evolutionary relationship with technology. This basically means that, like the bees and the flowers, people and technology are intertwined in mutual dependence: we serve our technology as much as it serves us. And just like humans, technology wants to prosper, propagate and grow. The blindness ‘innovation’ of shaving razors, with more and more blades, strips and grips, exemplifies this development.

The latest subspecies in the Razorius line is the Razorius Gilletus Flexball. While the Gillete Corporation proclaims they have reinvented shaving, others argue Gillette’s new razor is everything that’s wrong with America.

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