Urban Beehive

The 2021 NYCXDESIGN Student Spotlight.

The 2021 Wanted Design Student Showcase.

_ 2020 Fall
_ School; Parsons School of Design
_ In collaboration with; Carly Bennet
_ Sungjik Kim played responsible for concept ideation, product design, prototype modeling, material research.
Skills practiced; Form exploration, Rhino, Keyshot, Photoshop, Illustrator Autocad, and Fusion360

Bee-ing is A “city for bees” that allows bees and humans to coexist and thrive. Based in urban environments, these beehives are perfect for hotel rooftops or outdoor gardens. Beekeepers can keep bees safe and humans can observe and admire their beautiful work and habitats. Bee-ing would save the honey bee's extinction and make the environment to live human being and honey bee together. 

What's the challenge?
Honey Bee dying
"The bees are dying right now"
Every year, the bee population is declining by 20-40%
Bee populations are rapidly decreasing around the world due to habitat loss, pollution and the use of pesticides, climate change, varroa mite, Asian, giant hornet, GMO plants, monocropping, and deforestation.​​​​​​​
Why should we save Honeybee?
"Honey Bee is Keystone in the Natural Ecosystem"
We need bees to survive. Bees pollinate 70 of the top 100 human crops. 1 in 3 bites of food we eat is courtesy of bee pollination. 30% of the world’s crops depend on bees for survival. 85% of flowering plants and trees rely on pollinators for survival. If honey bees are destroyed in the world, human and natural would disappear in the world. 
Interview with Beekeepers
Urban beehives give us great opportunities to save the honey bee and bee's life. Through interviews with two beekeepers, we learned the characteristics of honeybees and roles of beekeepers, what they need to do, and the essential functions in beekeeping. What's certain is that beekeepers help honeybees to extend their life span.
Existing Beehive Analysis
To design the beehive, we analyzed existing beehives to find out various advantages. Especially, Warre hives and Top-bar hives had substantial benefits in the beehive. Warre hive is a sustainable practice beehive for honey bees, and Top-bar hives are a movable comb and use the concept of bee space. So, we wanted to get references for the advantages of developing our project.
Concept Generation
Change of Perspective
We proposed a honeycomb design that focuses on nature-centered design, not on hives made up of human-centered systems. So far, we have raised bees in our lifestyles at the center of humans. People efficiently harvest all the honeybees from small hives or take care of them. Existing hives on rooftops are equipped with only hives and plants, without wildflowers and moisture, essential nutrients for honeybees. The high summer temperature generated by small, dense hives of bees also causes significant damage to honeybees' work and queen bee spawning. In other words, it expands from human-centered ideas to produce bees, flowers, and nature-centered beehives that allow humans to coexist together.
Inspiration from Honeycomb
We got the inspiration the characteristics of Honeycombs that exist in nature for building urban beehives.
- Hexagonal; Strong structure and space efficient.
- Modular; Efficient building method.
- Organic; An active response to the natural environment.
Design Objective
Live Together
Live Together
By integrating the project's perspective and inspiration, we developed the project with the following project goals.
- Create a space for humans and bees to live together safely.
- Create a place for bees to regenerate.
- Leverage urban environments. (less pesticides, wider species of plants/flowers)
Design Brief​​​​​​​
Bee populations are declining year over year, due to many human behaviors including climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss. Bee’s are a vital part of our ecosystem and survival. They require the necessary housing, plants, and flowers to survive. 
How might you design a product or system that could help regenerate the honey bee population and allow for humans and bees to live together safely? This design should:
- Showcase bee’s sublime work
- Focus on life centered design
- Combine architecture and urban farming
Ideation Sketch
We combined our ideas together to come up with something that has an architectural structure that can house honey bees in an everyday spot that humans interact with. Furthermore, we considered that beehive prototype would have structural, functional, and nature-centered design for both people and honeybees.
3D Printer Prototype Model
Design Feedback from Beekeepers
We shared our design sketches and ideation with beekeepers and got feedback from them. The most idealistic design ideation is Geometric-Ball Honey Bee Hive. The design prototype has structural safety and is easy to manage the honey bee in the modular beehive.
2D Sketch for Development
After feedback and structural issue research about beehives, we chose the geometric-ball honey beehive prototype. And then, we find the opportunities and design details for developing Bee-ing.
Scale Study of Bee-ing
When we considered the one modular beehive is 30inches, people stack the beehive modular and make them 90 inches. Why do we have to make them a 90inch beehive? The bee's entrance is placed at the top so that bees do not come down where people are. If the beehive were 90inches, the honey bee would not come down to people. Furthermore, a 30inches modular honeycomb provides enough space to grow honey. The beekeeper can move this beehive modular and stack the modular on the rooftop.
Technical Drawing
Exploded Axonometric Diagram with Material
Bee-ing Modular Ball Unit
Bee-ing Modular Ball Unit
Bee-ing Modular Ball Unit Open
Bee-ing Modular Ball Unit Open
Exploid Bee-ing Ball
Exploid Bee-ing Ball
Wood Board and Wood Frame
Wood Board and Wood Frame
Exploded Beehive
Exploded Beehive
Beekeeper User Experience
Urban Context
FINAL RENDERING -Bee-ing -​​​​​​​

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