Nongenetic Evolution

Evolution, but not as we know it

Nongenetic Evolution refers to evolutionary processes that are not based on changes in genes. For instance, when products or ideas evolve like organisms, such as the development of Gillette razor blades or the Shell corporate logo. Is evolution evolving out of gene-based life forms onto a next level?

Essay by Koert Van Mensvoort

Razorius Gilletus – On the Origin of a Next Species

Is the evolution of the single bladed razor into an exorbitant five–bladed vibrating gizmo the outcome of human needs, or is there another force in play? Say hello to Razorius Gillettus, one of the new species emerging from our technoeconomic ecology. Proof that evolution should be understood as a universal principle rather than a DNA-specific process.…

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'There is no reason why evolutionary processes could not transfer themselves to other media'

Koert Van Mensvoort

The Order Electrus

The Order Electrus is a fictional documentary which shows Floris Kaayk’s imaginary world of industrialised nature.

Darwinian Selection of the Cowboy Hat

The standard story of the cowboy hat goes something like this: In 1865, J.B. Stetson went out west during the California gold rush. He observed that bowlers, raccoon hats, and sombreros weren’t cutting it for men who spent their lives in the harsh conditions of the American West.…

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Shell Logo Evolution

Corporate logos constantly have to adapt in order to survive. In the case of the Shell oil company this results in an image that ironically resembles the ones we know from the biology classes.

Still one wonders how the biomimicmarketing of the seashell came into existence.…

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The Evolutionary History of Office Chairs

On the shortlist for the year’s strangest book title, Jonathan Olivares’ A Taxonomy of Office Chairs charts the “evolution” of chairs from the 1840s to the present day. The author explicitly uses the language of biological classification, opening with a quote from Baudrillard that describes consumer objects as reproducing species.…

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