“Today the human impact on our planet can hardly be underestimated. Climate change, population explosion, genetic manipulation, digital networks, hurricane control and engineered microbes. Untouched old nature is almost nowhere to be found. ‘We were here,’ echoes all over.” [1]

Many people would agree to this observation by the Dutch artist and philosopher Koert van Mensvoort. Since the dawn of mankind, humans have continuously changed and domesticated the wild nature around them while distancing their lives from what remains feral and undomesticated.

Whereas our health and safety overall has undoubtedly benefited from this development, the growing alienation of man and nature has led to some troublesome consequences. Having evolved in nature, our bodies and minds struggle with the rising lack thereof in our everyday lives – and meanwhile, nature struggles, too. With the decline of ‘old’ nature we have already lost many habitats and creatures depending on them. We have coped rather well so far, but are now pushing a species to the brink of extinction, whose loss we would not get over with as easily: the bee. In addition to struggling honeybee populations worldwide, the number of the often-underestimated wild bees is rapidly decreasing as well. And if we lose the bees, we lose our planet’s most important pollinators.

Fortunately, it is not too late to turn the tide. If we merge the needs of technology and biology and start to include nature into our urban planning, we can create hybrid habitats that sustain all sorts of life. This is the fundamental idea of the following undertaking. After further investigating the relation of man, nature and technology, and examining the needs of our wild bees, a concept is developed that tries to begin to mend the fences by creating artifacts that act as an adapter between the wild and the manmade world by integrating an untamed part of nature into our human habitats, without trying to fully control it. Because just like van Mensvoort points out:

“Rather than perceiving ourselves as the anti-natural species that merely threatens and eliminates nature, we’d better understand ourselves as catalysts of evolution. I hurry to emphasize that this does not mean we’ve become gods, or otherwise omnipotent beings that have total control over their own destiny. Quite the contrary: the fact that we cause the rising of a culturally emerged nature does not mean we also control it. We need to move away from the modernist desire of total design and total control. Rather than linger in the illusion of control, we must embrace complexity and develop befitting design methodologies to guide the growth of the intricate processes in our surroundings.” [1]


[1] VAN MENSVOORT, K. Nature is Dead, Long live Nature, 2012 December 31. Retrieved from: www.nextnature.net/2012/12/nature-is-dead-long-live-nature. Accessed on: 21 August 2017.