Curious Trends


Bee and honeycomb inspired product design

Outbreaks of the devastating Colony Collapse Disorder have alerted us to the fragility of the eco-system and the importance of bees for pollinating wildlife (and food crops). The plight of bee colonies has given rise to renewed interest in the art of apiculture (beekeeping) and inspired a host of bee-inspired art, design and textiles.

Tom Back’s Thrive Hive (pictured above) is designed to give a practical and natural environment for beekeeping. The hollow trunk form is insulated to provide protection from harsh winters. It’s based on a combination of the simple Kenyan top bar beehive, combined with the traditional skep hive. The Thrive Hive has been created specifically for use in gardens and on allotments.

Over the the past year we’ve seen honeycomb inspired patchwork and ceramics, including Ivanka’s hexagon shaped concrete plates (above). And honeycomb furniture and lighting – like these by Mi Jin Park.

 At 100% Design, bee inspired wallpaper and fabrics were displayed on a leather boxer reminiscent of one exhibited at the original Festival of Britain. There was also reference to Muhammad Ali’s famous line, ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.’

Honey has also featured in the beauty industry, influencing both product design/packaging and fragrance – as in the case of Mac’s Naked Honey collection.

Be on the look out for more innovative bee related designs over the coming year - like this beeswax iPad cover.

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