The big city is tough on urban songbirds, which, due to the stress, keep longer hours than their forest-dwelling cousins. To make life easier for our feathered friends, design studio Fieldwork Facilitydeveloped the Nest Project, a smarturban intervention idea to attach birdhouses onto street furniture like signposts and fences. Although the Nest Project draws comparisons to otherguerrilla activities, volunteers who want to provide long-lasting habitat for the birds are encouraged to work with city officials.
The Nest Project’s colorful birdhousesare built for easy assembly and to withstand the elements. While citizens can purchase or build their own birdhouse to put up in the neighborhood, Robin Howie, the designer behind the Nest Project, wanted to create a citizen-led project where participants felt like they were contributing to the bird’s home. Each birdhouse comes with a wooden perch that doubles as a pencil and sharpener, and volunteers are encouraged to spend a week working in pencil to create a nest bed out of pencil shavings.
The birdhouses also come with a booklet with instructions on how to choose a good nest location and how to get permission from city officials. “They can become homes for birds, but they also highlight where nature could be in the urban environment,” Howie told Fast Company. “They’re kind of urban interventions and homes at the same time.” While the prototypes have yet to be tested by a community, Howie already has plans to create birdhouses that can tweet photos from inside the nest, as well as monitor and report air quality.