Search graduate:

    Karola Rianne Mahhova-Reinholm

  • Ceramics
  • MA
  • Non-human centred design – ceramic module for enhancing solitary bee biodiversity
  • Tutor: Heikki Zoova

In our relentless pursuit of progress, we often overlook the intricate web of life that sustains us. Non-human centred design compels us to reassess our priorities and design with a broader perspective — one that encompasses the needs of all living beings.

These ceramic nests designed through non-human centred principles exemplify this transformative approach. The nests are carefully constructed to mimic cavity-nesting solitary bees’ habitats and offer a lifeline in regions where traditional nesting options have reduced.

The use of ceramics, an easily cleanable material, plays a vital role in mitigating the spread of diseases among bees. With a simple application of heat, these nests can be sterilised, reducing the risk of infection and promoting a healthier bee population.

The insights gained from viewing this ceramic nest in nature will help further develop non-human centred design, as nature’s feedback is essential for creating designs that transcend human-centric perspectives.

Nest observation results so far: In the summer of 2022, the ceramic nest was used as a nesting site by various spider species. These spiders living in the nest could have been funnel weavers (Agelenidae) and sheetweb weavers (Linyphiidae). In the spring and summer of 2023, the ceramic nest was used for pupation by four butterflies, along with several spider species—both web-weaving and non-web-building spiders—that used the nest tunnels as shelter.

These results show that although the nest was designed with the needs of solitary bees in mind, it is a nest that also benefits other insect species and spiders. The observation of the nest will continue in the coming years.