How to explain the Next Nature philosophy to the next generations? Recently we've been reading, talking, interviewing and drawing to create a workshop to illustrate this concept to kids. We could hardly wait to test our ideas and see how much young people already know about technology and biology.
Last week we had the opportunity to have a first test round with ten children from Laterna Magica, a new unconventional primary school in Amsterdam, IJburg. While an interactive video was playing and explaining the idea of Biology and Technology, the children where making all kinds of fun and joyful sounds: whispering and reacting on what they saw and heard. The interactive video contains three steps.
Step 1: Observing. Looking into your own direct environment, the room where you are in, to try to understand to notion of biology and technology.
Step 2: Playing and talking. Playing the Next Nature memory game and trying to discover the compartments between technology and biology.
Step 3: Imagining and creating. In this last step all the children got a paper to create and draw their own idea of a next nature.
It was amazing to see how bright these children are and eager to learn and share new ideas. They imagined future scenarios in which technology and biology will merge and balance. A river will flow through the walls of our house and our own personal waste will be turned into food. Meanwhile, outside the trees will be walking. Yes, you've read this well! The trees will be walking to a location with more water when they feel their feet are getting too dry. And when there is a fire? Well, you just use your fire app to turn it off. These are just some of the scenarios the kids envisioned for the world of the future, a place where these children would like to live in. Because in the end, this is the generation that can bring next nature to the next level.