Innovative Nostalgia

Designing the future by referring to the past

Innovative Nostalgia is a design strategy that aims to smooth technological change by linking newfangled technologies with familiar phenomena. We feel more comfortable with technological changes when they are wrapped in a recognizable packaging by referring to accepted objects, habits, values, traditions or intuitions.
Linking modern technologies with old familiar phenomena: the nostalgia can refer to a phenomenon from your youth, your grandparents life, or even the ancient history of humankind. Back to the natural future?

Essay by Koert Van Mensvoort

Innovative Nostalgia

A battle is underway between designers and engineers; at stake is the design of our technological future. It rages subtly like a moorland fire. Koert van Mensvoort adds fuel to the flames, but also offers a solution. The impact of new technology on our lives is hard to overestimate.…

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'Innovative nostalgia combines an understanding of the future with proven qualities of the past'

Koert Van Mensvoort

Farming of the Future

The future of farming is not to be found in further mass-industrialization nor in the return to farming with man and horse power, but rather in swarms of smart, cheap robotic farmers that patiently seed, tend and harvest fields one plant at a time without the need for damaging pesticides.

Your Grandparents Google

Yes Child. Back in the days, before computers existed, we Googled by postcard.

Although it exists for less than 20 years, online search has become such a commonplace activity it is hard to imagine life without it. For your grandparents it didn’t exist.…

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Stockholm Underground

Subway stations are usually designed in a clean and modernistic style in order to make people forget they are traveling deep underground. How different in the Stockholm subway, in which several of the deep underground stations are cut into solid rock which were left with cave-like ceilings.…

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Angel with Cellphone adorns Cathedral

To mark the twelve-year restoration of the Sint Jan cathedral in Den Bosch, a new statue of an angel carrying a mobile phone was added to the building. The angel joins the many other statues adorning the outside of the mediaeval cathedral.…

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