IKEA’s research and design lab SPACE10 has teamed up with Bakken & Bæck and designer Tanita Klein to launch an open-source Bee Home. Bees are essential for all life on our planet — including one-third of all the food we eat — but bees are under increasing threat of extinction due to human impact. That’s why SPACE10 wants to make it easy for anyone, anywhere to design a beautiful home for this vital animal.
“For almost 80 years, IKEA has enabled people to create a better everyday life at home,” explains Kaave Pour, Director of SPACE10. “But our home is more than just four walls — our home is also the planet we live on. That is why we launch Bee Home: we want to enable people everywhere to help rebalance our relationship with the planet and ensure a sustainable home for all of us.”
Bee Home is a free and open-sourced design, pioneering a new era of democratic design for IKEA. The project takes advantage of the newest developments in digital fabrication and parametric design, and introduces entirely new distribution methods to enable a fully democratic design process. With a design that is flexible and accessible through open-source design principles, everyone, everywhere is empowered to design and fabricate their own Bee Home locally.
“To reconnect with the many bees in our environment, we need to give back what we have taken from them: their homes,” says Myles Palmer, Project Lead, Bakken & Bæck. “By designing new interactive experiences, we can create a more sustainable manufacturing process for doing so: one that is truly open-sourced, informed by local living and customizable for many contexts and uses.”
Users can download and create their own bee home in just a few minutes. Just select size, visual style and desired placement, like a rooftop, balcony or garden — or play around with the shuffle garden. once finished, you can download your personalized design files with instructions on how to build your bee home.
Once you have your design files, share them with a makerspace — spaces equipped with a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons, and even sewing machines — who will help you create your bee home. Most types of dried hardwood can be used like oak, larch, cedar or mahogany. One assembled, place your new creation facing the morning sun. plant flowers in your local area to help the native bees thrive.
“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,” says designer Tanita Klein. “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.”