Lecture on the ‘Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive’ project, as part of the course ‘Honeybee Colonies’ taught by Mark Randall at the Parsons School of Design in New York, USA.
In the 19th century, the bee was a popular symbol of industry and co-operation. Caricaturist George Cruikshank’s 1840 drawing the British Bee Hive, illustrates a diverse range of English professions within a stringent and divided pyramid-based social hierarchy. For thousands of years, humans have had a close relationship with bees. Honeybee colonies not only provide honey and beeswax, they are also a powerful metaphor for life; a lens through which we can explore art, design, science and culture. Bee colonies have complex systems for communication and organization, and a remarkably democratic decision-making process. Honeycomb is an astonishing feat of engineering and strength. Pots of edible honey have been excavated in 3,000 year-old Egyptian tombs. This course will investigate the world of the honeybee in all of its complexity. Through hands-on learning, readings, lectures, field trips and design-led research, participants will explore one of the most remarkable insects on the planet and how they relate to natural science, sustainable systems, social history, gastronomy, art and design. Informed by their research and learnings from the class, students will produce a final project inspired by bees in the medium of their choice.
HONEYBEE COLONIES, taught by Mark Randall