IKEA's research and design lab SPACE10 has launched an open-source platform for designing, downloading and making architectural bee habitats for World Bee Day 2020.
Image: Irina Boersma
Bees are vital to ecosystems and life as we know it – did you know that they're essential to one third of the global food supply and that 90% of the world's flowering pants rely on insect pollination? Despite this human impact has put these pollinators at risk, with loss of habitat, increased use of pesticides, climate change and invasive species all playing a role in falling numbers of wild bees.
While there are many initiatives around to save the bees, including promoting environmental practices that preserve bee habitats, this year for World Bee Day, IKEA's research lab SPACE10 is appealing to the design-conscious with this open-source Bee Home design concept.
Image: Irina Boersma
Open-source is a buzzword for a type of software that is developped as a public collaboration, and in this instance it allows users to create custom Bee Home designs. Once created, the schematics for this can be downloaded, and then sent to a local 'Makerspace' to be fabricated – you can find your local Makerspace via the dedicated Bee Home website.
The Bee Home is designed for solitary bees, rather than honeybees. 90% of bee species are solitary and a single solitary bee could provide as much pollination as 120 honeybees.
As they don’t produce honey, they also have nothing to protect, so can be welcome garden guests even around children and pets.
Male solitary bees don't have a sting, and every female is a queen that can have up to 20-30 offspring.
Image: Brendan Austin
The project was created in collaboration with design studio Bakken & Bæck and designer Tanita Klein. “I want people to design a dream home for bees that provides the perfect environment for their offspring, while at the same time being incredibly easy to design, assemble and place. It was important for me that Bee Home is aesthetically pleasing and almost feels like you’ve added a sculpture to your garden or your balcony. This project really exemplifies how design can do good for both people and their environment," Tanita says.
The project acts as an example of how future projects can encourage brands to design with people, rather than just for people.
If you design your own bee home, let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page.