From urban hives to modular garden hive walls, designers have imagined various integrated solutions to boost pollinator populations. Aiming to get people to appreciate wild bees more, Dutch designer AnneMarie van Splunter proposes the Buzzbench, a sculptural piece that would act both as seating for humans and as a bee habitat.
Van Splunter, who is currently seeking crowdfunding via Voordekunst, explains why getting people in close contact with bees is actually a good and feasible idea:
Now, we tend to keep our distance from bees but actually they are far more interested in foraging for nectar and pollen rather than stinging us. They pollinate plants and if we dare to take a closer look, they're amazingly beautiful! The Buzzbench is a monumental bench local bamboo and reed where visitors find a quiet retreat and at the same time a biotope for insects.
The Buzzbench's form is based on the symmetry of flower petals that have been digitally cut in layers and each rotated progressively in 10 degree increments. Van Splunter would harvest the cane and bamboo from local riverbanks herself, which are sandwiched between ecological MDF wood; in the Buzzbench these little nooks would provide habitat for bees to live and to lay their eggs.
The goal of Buzzbench is to "create a new public space that will bring [people's] sensory perception to a higher level," where wildness merges with the human world, which oftentimes takes these critical and threatened creatures for granted. One can imagine the Buzzbench becoming an educational tool or architectural apparatus for national parks, botanical gardens or other institutions.
If funded, the Buzzbench would be constructed in Amstelpark, Amsterdam, a local park that has a labyrinth, a café, a restaurant, two galleries, an orangery, petting zoo, a mini-golf course and a variety of flowers that would do well with more attention from bees. More over at AnneMarie van Splunter and Buzzbench on Voordekunst.