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You're invited to explore apiculture & architecture inside our skep-inspired structure where 10-15 human beeings may gather & share.
You're invited to explore apiculture & architecture inside our skep-inspired structure where 10-15 human beeings may gather & share.
98 backers pledged $3,417 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Festooning the Inflatable Beehive project video thumbnail
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$3,417

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Festoon // NOUN

Parabolic Skeps and Honeycomb Forms
Parabolic Skeps and Honeycomb Forms

1. a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds // a decorative representation of this, as in architectural work.

2. a lacework of bees hanging together, leg-to-leg, between the frames of comb. The behavior is called Festooning. Some say bees can only produce wax from the festooning position.

What We Will Make

We will construct an inflatable shelter in the form of an iconic Skep beehive. Inspired by all things Apicultural, we hope to create a dome-like space large enough (proposed at 16′ diameter x 12′ tall) for 12-16 human beeings to snuggle in order to discuss, celebrate, and study honeybees, to contemplate their response to environmental changes, and to consider the beehive’s influence on social structures throughout history. We will program tastings, performances, lectures, interviews, and Bee School! During such neuro-festooning sessions we may entangle and display thoughts and skills, offering entomology, lore, philosophy, and devotion. One can follow the progress of our project, discussions, and programming through our Blog! Festooning the Inflatable Beehive. Here you may also view and contribute photos of hexagons found in the urban infrastructure : )

Urban Hex Pittsburgh!
Urban Hex Pittsburgh!

Why Inflate?

We would like to blow issues TO their due proportion and appropriate scale rather than blowing myth and media OUT OF proportion. Upon entering the space participants may become aware of the realities of consumption as they are literally consumed by such physicality. (Imagine the above photo inside of a beautifully erected dome!) This cyclical process, illustrated by solar power and airflow as well, reflects natural processes and humanity’s impact on them. We’d also like to recognize the pedagogical context in which inflatables have historically been used. Pneumatic forms create an alternate universe, a hub or think tank for conversation, education, and brainstorming.

Testing! Trial and Error with Designs!
Testing! Trial and Error with Designs!

Addressing Sustainability

Here are a few ways that sustainability may be defined and how we address these aspects in relation to Systems Eco-nomies which will be opening at Boston University's 808 Gallery this winter. Our piece and programming will be included in the show!

1. Ability to endure
We are building with durable materials, rather than polyethylene, so that our structure will last. This structure will be adaptable and portable

2. Long-term maintenance of responsibility
We will discuss responsibility especially in terms of bees and their independence from as well as current dependence on human beeings. We will be sure to perform maintenance on our durable structure if/as needed.

3. Management of resources
We will manage and build a library of literature related to bees and architecture in addition to offering the advice and knowledge of progressive beekeepers and environmentalists. We will use the sun as a resource for energy by making our blower solar-battery-powered.

4. Biological & conceptual systems remain diverse                                   We will address the importance of diversity in both environmental and social contexts. Mono-culture, whether in nature or academia for example, are never sustainable! We are interested in regenerative investigation and conversation rather than regurgitation and premature conclusions about how to work with nature.

aerial view plans
aerial view plans

Skep-Inspired Structure & Sustainability

The circular form of a skep mirrors environmental, social, and economic cycles (you gain back what you put in). This circle also suggests cyclical and regenerative research and investigation, hopefully more contemporary than the patriarchal scientific method or something that moves in a straight line with a hard conclusion. Skeps are the man-made traditional basket-style woven containers that are designed based on nature but not actually made by bees. Humans build an informed infrastructure that allows them to interact with nature in a more responsible way. Sometimes their designs are harmonious and other times destructive. We can discuss the history of the skep and beekeeping as well as beneficial and problematic practices of various hive designs

Shake, Waggle, and Drone // Honeybee & Shaker Dancing Workshop for Artlab: Utopia @ Matress Factory, Pittsburgh
Shake, Waggle, and Drone // Honeybee & Shaker Dancing Workshop for Artlab: Utopia @ Matress Factory, Pittsburgh

What the money will be used for: MATERIALS!

- An industrial fan or blower

- A great amount of light-weight and industrial inflatable fabrics (i.e. rip stop nylon, tyvek, etc) so our structure will be quality and durable for many years and events to come. We will use lovely vibrant yellow's, golds, and creams in our final product!

- Any other materials or hardware needed for the design and construction process as we realize mock and final versions of the inflatable.

- If we surpass our goal, money may be put toward many other resources such as tech for projections/documentation and/or compensation/accommodations for guest presenters, performers, or out of city beekeepers. We have already begun work exchanges to compensate lecturers and contributors.

- Books! We hope to acquire a substantial collections of the classics, the influential and note-worthy books written by beekeepers over many many years that we can share as a resource and read from aloud inside of our hive

Example of colors and materials from Maria's past inflatables. Click here to see more inflatable work!
Example of colors and materials from Maria's past inflatables. Click here to see more inflatable work!

REWARDS! Choose from:

H U G S, Original Art Work, Wax Dipped Surprises, Festooning T-Shirts, Home-made Dinner, Drinks and Dancing, Special Edition Honey, Lectures, Workshops, and More!

FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A sting, a hug, and our gratitude.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A sting, a hug, our gratitude, and a wax dipped surprise crafted by Maria and Colette.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A ticket to the first in an exciting series of inflato-lectures and workshops, "Honeys of the World". Colette will offer her knowledge on various honeys, offering samples so you may experience the variety of tastes, colors, and textures brought to this product by a range of floral sources. She will share passages from her favorite read, The Honey Trail, and other resources.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A ticket to a Boston session of "Shake, Waggle, & Drone" inside the inflatable. Surely you've been dying to learn the waggle dance! Learn how to communicate with the whole team using body language inspired by honeybee dances.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A ticket to an "Inflato-Building" workshop in Boston where we will gather around the classic Inflato-Cook Book. We'll provide materials and instructions and you leave with your own inflatable specimen!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Rewards 1-2 + A custom designed T-shirt with our beeautiful Festooning imagery printed on it. Please specify size (XS, S, M, L, XL) add appropriate postage to your pledge amount according to your distance from Boston (estimated $2-$8 range from US citizens to international backers).

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Rewards 1-2 + Festooning T-shirt + your name, apiary or bzzness credited and linked on our blog. (See $25 reward notes on t-shirt size and postage fees)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Rewards 1-2 + Festooning shirt + A jar from the first honey harvest of Maria's new colonies! (See $25 reward notes on t-shirt size and postage fees)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Rewards 1-2 + Inflato-Package deal. Attend all three of our aforementioned lectures and workshops inside the inflatable.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Rewards 1-2 + an Intro to Beekeeping class and honey tasting with Maria at her hives (will contact you in spring for dates).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Rewards 1-2 + A Bee-I-P exclusive invitation to join fellow beekeepers, artists, and enthusiasts for a mead tasting and discussion in the inflatable beehive OR
    A previously mentioned reward if you prefer. Please specify!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Rewards 1-3 + Maria and Colette will prepare a honey inspired meal for you and a friend OR
    A previously mentioned reward if you prefer. Please specify!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Rewards 1-3 + Original api-art work from Maria and Colette OR
    A previously mentioned reward if you prefer. Please specify!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A beautiful & functional beehive hand built and painted by Maria and Colette OR a previously mentioned reward if you prefer. Please specify!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Our half-scale (6 ft in diameter) fully functional inflatable model made out of rip stop nylon! Includes cost of materials.

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Funding period

- (60 days)