Jip van Leeuwenstein

A Diverse MonoCulture

The project: ‘A Diverse Monoculture’ questions the future relation between mankind and nature. Is it possible to deploy robots to find a new balance within our eco-system? ‘A Diverse Monoculture’ is a deployment of several robots which together form a hive of new predators. These predators are used to attempt to restore the balance within our eco-system.


Humanity always had a contradictory and ambiguous relationship with nature. On the one hand, nature is ought to be protected and preserved in national parks and reserves. On the other hand, pollution and destruction threatens the environment and no responsibilities is taken once however. Profits and gains seem to be more important than moral obligations.


Within this project, I try to provide a different point of view on nature. I try to dissolve the border between culture and nature and question the current definition of nature.


We all feel the urge to control everything all the time. This urge introduces new problems and challenges to our current society.

Furthermore, the robot will operate and actively participate in the nutrient cycle by using Micro Fuel Cells. The reaction within these cells will chemically transform the insects into electricity. The electricity will be used to power the robot and keep the predator alive.


The eco-system around the caterpillars of the oak processionary is out of balance. The cultured man-made lanes of oak trees do not provide small vegetation to attract the natural predators of the caterpillars. Therefore, increasing its population tremendously and turning the population of oak processionary into a plague.


The ‘Dionaea Mechanica Muscipula’ is developed to reduce the population of oak processionary. The moths of the oak processionary are active at night and attracted to light. The robot will lure in nearby moths by light up its mouth. The mouth acts a trap which contains the curious moths. Some moths purposely remain in the mouth since they spread pheromones that attract other moths. This will increase the speed of the process. The other moths are processed toward the stomach of the robot where the chemical reaction of the Micro Fuel Cells will power the robot.

The cultivation of crops and increasing demand of food facilitated us to justify the continuing manipulation of our environment. The whole system is profit oriented and optimized to generate these profits disregarding the balance in the eco-system. Examples can be found in the use of pesticides or genetic modification to maintain a monoculture of crops.


Nature is a common good, however we seem to be claiming it for ourselves as a way of expanding our capital. The question arises to what extend humanity can satisfy its urge to control everything.


Introducing a new predator into the eco-system has been tried several times in history, most of the time with catastrophic consequences. For example, in Australia, where the giant neotropical toad was introduced to eradicate the cane beetle. Afterwards, this solution became the problem since the population of toads increased rapidly and became a plague themselves.


The introduction of the robot predator within the eco-system has the all the advantages of the predator without losing control. Using the robot predator, a new balance for the eco-system can be found.


Privacy Mask 2016, 30 x 20 x 15 cm Epoxy with clear coating
Surveillance Exclusion

Camera’s and other technologies create a safer living environment than ever before. Mega databanks and high resolution cameras stock hundreds of exabytes a year. But who has access to this data?


Not only the security department but also the advertisement industry is interested in this technology. They pay to use real time data to their advantage. They create advertisements that call your name, keep records of your personal interests and they follow you everywhere you go.


By wearing this mask formed like a lens it possible to become unrecognizable for facial recognition software and because of it’s transparence you will not lose your identity and facial expressions. So it’s still possible to interact with the people around you.

Sherman Tank 2016, 5 x 2 x 0.5 m Laser cut Corten Staal commissioned by Ewoud Groenendijk
Sherman Tank
Storm Eindhoven Motor 2015, 3 x 0.4 x 1.4 m vacuum forming plastic
Storm Eindhoven Motor




2015-2017 Product Design HKU Utrecht Graduated with honours

2012-2015 Product Design Artez Arnhem

2010-2011 Natuur en Sterrenkunde Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

2009-2010 Werktuigbouwkunde TU Delft

2002-2009 VWO (N+T) Arentheem Arnhem




2016 Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven




2018 ´Robotanica´ Transnatural Art & Design - Amsterdam Tolhuistuin, Nederland

2018 ‘Machine Wilderness’ Zone2Source - Amsterdam Amstelpark, Nederland

2018 ‘Emerging Designer Exhibition’ Primer 18 - Berkeley California, United States of America

2018 ´TEC ART´ Art Rotterdam Week – Rotterdam, Nederland

2017 'Van nul- tot duizendpoot' Museum TwentseWelle in Enschede – Enschede, Nederland

2017 Manifestations nominee youngblood talent Dutch Design Week – Eindhoven, Nederland

2017 GOGBOT nominee  blink youngblood award – Enschede, Nederland

2017: HKU Exposure –, Utrecht, Nederland

2017: To Own – ll – Anonymus, Academie Galerie, Utrecht, Nederland

2017: To Own – Anonymous , Salone Del Mobile, Ventura Lambrate, Milaan, Italië

2014  Coming Soon, Food Design, Enjoy Nature ArtEZ Arnhem Nederland




2018 Neural.it                                    (Link)

2018 Stad+Groen jaargang 6 3-2018   (Link)

2017 Nemokennislink                         (Link)

2017 Eindhovensdagblad                   (Link)

2017 NRC examenexpostitie HKU      (Link)

2017 Bright.nl anonymous Milaan      (Link)








    A Diverse Monoculture
    Surveillance Exclusion
    Sherman Tank
    Storm Eindhoven Motor
A Diverse MonoCulture
Privacy Mask 2016, 30 x 20 x 15 cm Epoxy with clear coating
Surveillance Exclusion
Sherman Tank 2016, 5 x 2 x 0.5 m Laser cut Corten Staal commissioned by Ewoud Groenendijk
Sherman Tank
Storm Eindhoven Motor 2015, 3 x 0.4 x 1.4 m vacuum forming plastic
Storm Eindhoven Motor