Thursday, March 6, 2008

Next Nature -researches and visualizations of our changing relation with nature.

Nowadays, children know more corporate logo’s and brands than bird or tree species. The average Western person has more worries about the instability of financial markets and mortgage interest deductions than about hurricanes or floods.
We are living in a time in which the “made” and the “born” are fusing. Hypoallergenic cats are already on the market. Plants are used as sensors, information displays and chemical factories. Animals are being augmented and branded. Plastic surgeons sculpt flesh to match retouched photographs in glossy magazines. In response to donor organ shortages, researchers are working on a 3D organ printer. Real nature is not green. It is out of control. Our technological world has become so intricate and uncontrollable that it has become a nature of its own. Games have become jobs. Second life is not sustainable. Digital world metaphors boomerang into our physical environment. Wine making has become an information science. Everyday robots give massages and take care of the children. RFID chips open doors, they might be infected, but nonetheless are edible.
How should we relate to these developments? How will we design? How will we build? How do we relate to our environment? How can we create humane technology? We call upon designers, artists, visionaries, film makers and other creative people to submit their visions, statements and ideas on how we will live in next nature.

This newsletter is connected to the website which researches and visualizes our changing relation with nature.


-Designing for Next Nature

-Fake for Real: A Memory Game about Reality

-Biggest Visual Power Show in California on May 17th


Submission deadline: March 10.


Organic Coca-Cola Diet Coke Plus, the latest addition to Coca Cola product range, is fortified with vitamins and minerals to improve your health. Is Coca Cola, which was originally marketed as a health drink, returning to its roots? And what is this thing with engineered food?

Hurricane control causes a storm of lawsuitsAccording to a recent study, adding dust to Hurricane Katrina’s base could have weakened the storm and sent it spinning away from New Orleans. Controlling hurricanes could save lots of lives and dollars, but who decides where to direct a storm? Will ‘natural disasters’ soon be exclusively for the poor and powerless?

Bio-mechanical Energy HarvestingLet’s face it: every time your cell-phone runs empty you feel amputated and you quickly run home to connect to a power-adapter. Bionic Power Inc. is now developing a knee-brace that can be used to charge small devices; the 5-watt electricity output from one knee generator is enough to power 10 cell-phones at once.

Intelligent Design - A Designers take (video)

A typographical film on the term ‘Intelligent Design’ from a designers perspective. Those opposing camps in the intelligent design debate might be much closer than they think.

Green Blues: Bio-fuels add to Global WarmingIt is official: the Green Blues has begun. Almost all bio-fuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these 'green' fuels are taken into account, two new studies published in the top-tier journal Science have concluded.

Retro Future: Magic Highway USA (video)Nothing makes a person more modest about future speculations than Retro Future. The sheer optimism in the 1958 video entitled 'Magic Highway USA' is just overwhelming: "It will be our magic carpet to new hopes, new dreams and a better way of life, for the future" (yes, they’re talking about highways here).


The Fake for Real Memory Game playfully visualizes the classical theme of Fake vs Real. Is everything that was once directly experienced, in our media society now replaced by simulations? Or are reproduction and imitation naturally part of life? Can you tell the fake from the real? See for yourself! Created by the good people of the game online:


After the successful editions in 2003, 2005 and 2006 in the Netherlands and Germany, the event now moves to sunny Southern California. The Biggest Visual Power Show is an intellectual show that blends between a conference and a pop concert. The show represents a field of mixed cultural disciplines presenting visionary statements, radical ideas and powerful imagery. The event will take place on May 17 at the Wind Tunnel Building in South Pasadena. The list of presenters will be announced in the next newsletter.

No comments: