Insectology - Food for Buzz by Atelier Boelhouwer - Bee flower - Photo by Janneke van der-Pol

“Insectology – Food for Buzz” by Atelier Boelhouwer – Bee flower – Photo by Janneke van der-Pol, all photos courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer.

Design“As designers, we are obliged to think about new possibilities and opportunities and show new perspectives instead of only making more beautiful products.” That is what Matilde Boelhouwer strongly believes. The Dutch designer shaped this obligation into a studio which mainly focuses on the world of insects and plants – Wonderful beings Nature has designed to help each other, until we started to build cities where meadows once were.

Insectology - Food for Buzz by Atelier Boelhouwer - Bumblebee flower - Photo by Janneke van der-Pol

Bumblebee flower – Photo by Janneke van der-Pol.

Atelier Boelhouwer’s Insectology: Food For Buzz series of artificial flowers were designed to serve as an emergency food source for the big 5 impollinators: bees, bumblebees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths.

But how can you make a concrete-based flower? How can you tell a bee that it can eat something that it isn’t used to?

Insectology - Food for Buzz by Atelier Boelhouwer - Butterfly flower - Photo by Janneke van der-Pol

Butterfly flower – Photo by Janneke van der-Pol.

Together with scientists and engineers, Matilde developed 5 man-made flowers that attract the insects to make some real buzz. “Adjusted to the length of their tongues, faceted eyes and shape of preference, the flowers aim to take over all empty spots and therefore bringing back those buzzing and fluttering sounds of those small creatures we can’t ever miss in our cityscape.

Insectology - Food for Buzz by Atelier Boelhouwer - Butterfly flower - Photo by Janneke van der-Pol

Butterfly flower – Photo by Janneke van der-Pol.

Studies show a 75% decline of insect population due to use of pesticides, Climate Change and lack of habitat and food in the past 27 years. Matilde visited M.C. Marco Roos, a botanist and biodiversity specialist of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, Netherlands, to discover that green public spaces generally require practical low maintenance – meaning featuring plants that do not flower.

Insectology - Food for Buzz by Atelier Boelhouwer - Moth flower - Photo by Janneke van der-Pol

Moth flower – Photo by Janneke van der-Pol.

Together with Marco Roos and dr. ir. JJA va Loon – an entomologist specialized in insects-plants relationships, archetypical flowers loved by impollinatore were identified. From here, Matilde Boelhouwer has designed 3D-printed and laser-cut artificial flowers made of polyester.

Bee Flower by Atelier Boelhouwer - Courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer.

Bee Flower.

Insectology: Food For Buzz is an ongoing project on show at Can creativity save animals’ lives? the virtual design exhibition curated by Archipanic for Monkey 47 dry gin at Isola Design District. The exhibition features also works by Elena Salmistraro, Italy, Porky Hefer, South Africa, Peter Pichler Architecture, Italy, and Charlotte Mary Pack, UK.

Butterfly Flower by Atelier Boelhouwer - Courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer.

Butterfly Flower.

All photos: courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer.

Moth Flower by Atelier Boelhouwer - Courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer

Moth Flower.

Bumblebee Flower by Atelier Boelhouwer - Courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer.

Bumblebee Flower.

Insectology - Food for Buzz by Atelier Boelhouwer - Bee flower - Photo by Janneke van der-Pol

Bee flower – Photo by Janneke van der-Pol.