Dec 272011
  • What is Next Nature?

    Today, the human impact on our planet can hardly be underestimated. Climate change, synthetic biology, mass urbanization – ‘We were here’ echoes all over. Although many people have tried to improve our relationship with nature, only few have asked the elementary question ‘what is nature?’.

    This website radically shifts your notion of nature. It shows how our image of nature as static, balanced and harmonic is naive and up for reconsideration. We are living in a time in which the ‘made’ and the ‘born’ are fusing. This does not mean however, that we have become gods and have control over our own destiny. Rather, our relationship with nature is changing.

    Where technology and nature are traditionally seen as opposed, they now appear to merge or even trade places. While old nature, in the sense of trees, plants, animals, atoms, or climate, is increasingly controlled and governed by man – it is turned into a cultural category – our technological environment becomes so complex, omnipresent and uncontrollable, that we start to relate to it as a nature of its own.

    With our urge to design our environment, we cause the rising of a next nature, which is unpredictable as ever: wild software, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

    We must no longer see ourselves as the anti-natural species that merely threatens and eliminates nature, but rather as catalysts of evolution. Will we be able to improve our human condition, or will we outsource ourselves for good? People are technologic beings by nature. We are playing with fire again and again. We should tread carefully; yet this is simultaneously what makes us human.

    Hence the need to explore how we can design, build and live in the nature caused by people.


  • Frequently asked questions

    What is Next Nature?
    Nature caused by human culture? Sorry, I don’t get it.
    Nature is changing along with us. What do you mean by that?
    Do you have a definition of Next Nature?
    Culturally emerged nature? You mean plastic flowers?
    How can nature emerge from culture?
    Are nature and culture becoming one?
    What do you mean with ‘culturally emerged nature’ exactly?
    Can you give a few examples of next nature?
    Why do you use the word ‘nature’ for these phenomena? Isn’t that confusing?
    Why is next nature so important? What is the urgency?
    Is next nature related to ongoing scientific research?
    What do you mean with old nature?
    When did next nature start?
  • Further reading

    • Next Nature intro by Bruce Sterling

      This project is about Nature’s brand image.  One might surmise that “Nature,” being 100 percent all-natural, can’t have any brand image.  The facts suggest otherwise. Try it for yourself: tell a friend that something seemingly 100 percent natural is actually […]

    • 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 […]

    • The World without Technology

      I remember the smoke the most. That pungent smell permeating the camps of tribal people. Everything they touch is infused with the lingering perfume of smoke — their food, shelter, tools, and art. Everything. Even the skin of the youngest […]

    • Real Nature is not Green

      At the edge of the woods along the motorway near the Dutch town of Bloemendaal, there stands a mobile telephone mast disguised as a pine tree. This mast is not nature: at best, it is a picture of nature. It […]

    Visual introduction

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