Bruton Bee Bench for the 2023 Venice Biennale
Selected for installation in the European Cultural Centre Italy's Giardini della Marinaressa as part of their "Time-Space-Existence" exhibitions, the Bruton Bee Bench highlights student research within a custom piece of public furniture. The student work was generated during the Bruton Summer Design Intensive which paired University of Oregon design students with entomologists and professional design firm Terraform ONE. Their focus was to explore the potential for integrating bee habitats into building facade systems to support an ideal of Transpecies Design.
The bench supports an interactive educational experience where exhibit visitors can see a variety of bee habitats on display in the bench center tower. Included are a simulated ground burrow that might be attractive to Miner bees and some varieties of Bumble Bee, two wooden condos for Masonry Bees, and dried moss Kokedama Balls that are a welcome place to stop for a rest.
The bench itself is constructed of Eastern White Ash, Steel, and custom 3D printed "facade" components to assemble the bee tower. Designed for ease of shipping and assembly, the furniture piece can be dismounted and flatpacked once the Biennale has completed. Below the tower element, a starburst of Ash wedges features the Venetian Euro as a celebration of the Venice Biennale.
With special thanks to UO students Yash Akhouri (architecture) and Trent Nesbitt (product design) for their help bringing this piece together!