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After the final review of Housing Alternative Project, I spent free time watching a cute animated movie “Bee Movie.” Though it is an animated comedy film, it pointed out an important hypothesis that if there is no insect pollinating honey, the chain of the entire ecological cycle will be destroyed. Whilst, Einstein had said, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

It doesn’t seem to relate to urban design. However, during the development of the city, since the 1990s, beekeepers have observed the sudden declining proportion of bees around the world. This situation also is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In 2015 UK Pavilion of Milan EXPO, a famous artist, Wolfgang Buttress also reminded people that the disappearance of bees could seriously affect human lives. The work of Wolfgang Buttress was developed by the concept of a beehive. The simulation represented their living environment and how technology can help these black-and-yellow friends to survive whilst boosting of city development. Though it’s been for 4 years, the UK pavilion is still one of the most impressive places when I visited Milan EXPO.

Nowadays, not only the UK but also the U.S. attempts to design a city which is friendly for butterflies. As another distributor of pollination, the population of butterflies are also declining. In this spring, there’s a prototype ‘vertical meadow’ designed by the Brooklyn-based architecture and design research group, Terreform One. It contained a double-skin system. The central inner space allows butterflies to gestate and back to local surroundings.

It’s defined as a major transformation to create a butterfly-friendly environment that could also envelop a building. If the prototype can be worked on each place in a city, the proportion of these pollinators won’t be threatened by a city. On the other hand, Katie-Lyn Bunney, an education coordinator for the Monarch Joint Venture also stated that lots of green spaces such as parks and gardens can offer habitats for pollinators. Both environmental institutes and architects are now cooperating in building a butterfly-friendly environment in a city now in America.

They hope their endeavor could help these pollinators whilst bringing opportunities of education and live, work, learn, play, or pray to exist green spaces in a city.

References: (2019). Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2019].

TERREFORM ONE. (2019). Monarch Sanctuary — TERREFORM ONE. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2019]. (2019). 蜂蜂相連到天邊 米蘭世博英國館提醒世界:蜜蜂即將消失 – LaVie 設計改變世界. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2019].

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


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