Q: How will a technology enter the human habitat?

Hendrik-Jan Grievink
August 13th 2019

This question is an excerpt from the Pyramid of Technology toolkit

In the late nineties, the Tamagotchi egg was released. A small egg-shaped device that contained a digital creature that the owner had to ‘breed’ and take care of. The toy somehow normalized the experience of having some digital device in your pocket that sometimes seems to live a life of its own and that needs your attention. A lot of attention. It was around the same time that the first mobile phones entered the market. Coincidence?

How technology enters our life

Technologies don’t enter our lives just by themselves. They are envisioned, developed, tested and marketed with other technologies in mind. They are designed to coexist with other technologies or aim to disrupt whole industries.

When a technology becomes applied (and available for mainstream audiences), it moves from the ‘operational’ level of the Pyramid of Technology to the ‘applied’. It enters the habitat of the user, usually a human being (although not necessarily).

Visualization of the Pyramid of Technology

This happens in various ways: from becoming commercially available on the market (such as consumer electronics) or being given away for free (as with open source software), to be imposed by government and industries (think infrastructures).

The following steps will help you formulate a vision for how your technology may enter the human habitat.

Do it yourself!

  • Describe how a technology will enter the human habitat. Does this happen voluntarily or imposed? Commercially or for free? Will its entrance be smooth or rough?
  • Sharpen your thoughts in as much detail as possible and ask youself, at which price point will the technology be introduced? And who will be the early adopters?
  • Create a timeline of events you foresee happening.

Your next (nature) design tool

The Pyramid of Technology toolkit is our conceptual navigation tool that visualizes how technology becomes nature. The box contains 70 cards with insights, exercizes and questions to help you dream, build and live in your next nature. Visit the Next Nature Academy and learn more about our workshops, methods and tools.

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What is your view on the coronavirus?


Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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