The multidisciplinary creative agency MailArts, based out in Mexico City, has recently unveiled a new project: Refugio.
The project has been created with the aim of bringing together our urban spaces and nature, in particular generating a closer relationship between humans and bees. In a time when nature is being stripped away to make way for concrete pavements, buildings and shopping centres, it’s an important step to take, especially when insects play such a critical role in our environment and its balance.
MaliArts Refugio project has constructed a series of objects and builds that provide not only shelter, but water and food to varying species of solitary bees. A solitary bee is one that does not live in a hive, who doesn’t have a queen and does therefore not produce honey. The nature of the solitary bee is unaggressive, with many of them not even having a sting. But, their life journey and work is key, as recent studies have shown that they may be the most efficient pollinators in nature.
We spoke to Gabriel Calvillo, Industrial Designer from MaliArts, about what materials were used within the project: “For the manufacture of the three objects, different materials and processes were used. In the case of the refuge (or nesting place), some of the modules were manufactured in unfinished pine wood and others in teak wood with natural oil. The other modules and the roof are manufactured in high-temperature ceramic without enamel. The two main parts of the waterer are made with high-temperature ceramic with red clay enamel on their internal faces, as well as the feeder container. Both the lid and the base of the feeder were made of teak wood with natural oil. The bases of the three objects were made of steel.”
MaliArts’ architectural builds for Refugio come with a cultivation manual in order to help create the ideal sanctuary for solitary bees. Included within the manual is a total of 20 floral plants arranged according to their stages of flowering, aiding the cultivation of the ideal environment for the solitary bee.
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Creative Agency: MaliArts
Photography: Sergio López