Innovating Technologies and People with Next Nature

On March 16, a variety of SURFer’s toured the Retro Future gallery at Evoluon. Additionally, the group was able to enjoy a workshop by Next Nature on their unique model of the Pyramid of Technology. The Pyramid of Technology is now available as a workshop at SURF as a resource for teams to try and experiment with. This workshop would guide participants through seeing and understanding technologies in a different way while generating new ideas. With the help of this workshop, you learn to visualize how technology becomes nature and what we can learn from that.

What is the Pyramid of Technology?

The Pyramid of Technology is a model created by Koert van Mensvoort and Hendrik-Jan Grievink from the Next Nature Network that visualizes the relationship between different forms of technology and their impact on society.

The model illustrates the seven different stages of technological development that impacts life. Technologies can move up and down the pyramid, with each stage of its lifecycle being dependent on the fulfillment (or failure) of the preceding one. The bottom of the pyramid is occupied by technologies that are only conceptualized, with no tangible form, like a time machine. On the other hand, at the top of the pyramid, we find technologies that are considered naturalized and integrated into culture, such as clothing and cooking.

Delorean at Evoluon

Are Technologies, Natural?

The Pyramid of Technology is an interesting way to generate ideas about how the evolution of technologies impact society. It is a model that highlights the fact that technology is not just a tool that we use, but a fundamental part of who we are as humans and how we interact with the world around us.

Next Nature Network is a non-profit organization that aims to explore and promote the relationship between humans and nature in a rapidly changing world. Founded by artist and philosopher Koert van Mensvoort, the network is comprised of a team of designers, researchers, and thinkers who are interested in exploring the ways in which technology and nature intersect.

The pyramid of technology
The Pyramid of Technology

The workshop

The SURFer’s got to partake in a workshop that helped generate new ways of thinking of Technology. In the workshop, small groups worked together to combine ‘natural’ and ‘technological’ components together to unlock new, imaginative innovations. For instance, combining ‘flowers’ + ‘databases’ could create the imagined world where flowers network or emit connections and data. Weird ideas continued around this workshop, each group adding to each other’s ideas. In the end, they were all presented and showed how the connections between ‘technology’ and ‘nature’ is cloudier than it might first seem.

Key takeaways from the workshop experience:

  • The relationship between nature and technologies can be very interlinked. It requires re-defining common conceptions of both.
  • Innovation is bias for ‘good’ or ‘positive’ thoughts, perhaps avoiding questions about responsibility.
  • Stages 5 through 7 of the pyramid were able to add something unique to the conversation, especially from the perspective of systems thinking; which tends to only answer questions up to acceptability.
  • The workshop worked well with a variety of teams and worldviews.
  • The workshop helped team members generate unique, creative ideas and inventive mindsets. 



Dit artikel heeft 0 reacties