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A student design build studio blurring the boundaries of architecture and ceramics (and birds). Read more

pledged of $600 goal
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This project was successfully funded on April 30, 2012.

A student design build studio blurring the boundaries of architecture and ceramics (and birds).

Kevin Taylor
Project by

Kevin Taylor

First created  |  6 backed

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About this project

Hey potential backer!

Check this project out! The rewards are pretty cool.

We are a small group of architecture students at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Our design studio this semester is involved in an interdisciplinary studio, mixing architects and ceramicists to broaden horizons of our young minds.

Our final project for the semester was to design a performative skin system for the existing ceramic building on the Oakland campus, and we have decided to make it inhabitable for the local birds.

The design is made up of ceramic modules that become houses, baths, perches or feeding areas. Through extensive research and diagramming we found an optimal solution to lay these tiles onto our structure. The modals each have a unique degree of curl on the bottom to add function and also to allow for certain areas to be seen from the inside. The structure is going to be a steel diagram that rests along a window outside of the studio. Since we are using a regular diamond opening, we are also saying that the structure can be used by future studios to create their own modules.

We have made all our tiles by creating a new way of press molding using digitally fabricated plaster molds. The tiles are just being fired now and are awaiting some colorful glazes which should add a nice pop. The structure has gone through several iterations and mockups and is finally ready to be water jet cut.

We need your help to see this project finished! 

Also, the rewards are awesome.

You can get a simple tile from the project that can be used to do whatever you want with, or you can splurge and get a hand-made birdhouse perfect to hang from a tree.

We really need your help in making this project successful so please help us with a donation, for the birds!


Hey Backers!

Here is our first official update on the project!

First off, we want to thank everyone so far who has backed us. We are so excited to see all the people helping us out! 

All of our tiles are through the first round of bisque firing without any casualties!  (pictures below) Glaze firing tonight!

Unfortunately, we got a final quote from our structural fabricator that was way higher than we originally estimated (around $1,400). This means we need to raise more money!  We have begun to get quotes from other local fabricators, and these quotes are coming back higher than our $600 budget. 

We arenow looking to raise $900 to keep this thing going. If we don't raise enough money we will refund the donations and not be able to build the project  :(

So keep passing this project along!  Many people have learned about us through word of mouth, so tell your friends, family, co-workers, bird lovers, that multi-billionaire philanthropists you know, whoever!

Thanks so much 


Hey Backers!

Everything has now been glazed and loaded into the kiln and if all goes well we should have all of our ceramic pieces done by Friday! 

We ended up going with a yellow glaze, which on a dark brown clay will turn a nice golden orange. Last night we had a big push to get everything glazed and loaded. Check out the pictures below! (the last one is what we hope they will come out looking like)

As for the structure, we are busy searching for another fabricator that can cut this thing FAST and CHEEP. We were excited to get a quote back for a reasonable budget yesterday for laser cutting but it would require a long road trip to Anaheim to pick it up. Hey some of us pull all nighters before finals, we go on road trips. 

We are still looking at at least $900 to get this thing built.

Don't forget to keep passing this along!  

Check out the pictures! We cant thank you guys enough for all the help!

  • Update#3: Here we go!

    We are now all systems go!

    The ceramics are being fired and the structure is being cut. The kiln is gettingnice and hot turning the clay nice and dark and the edgesnice andorange (hopefully). The laser cut file have been sent to our fabricator (Martin's Metal Fabricators) and we should be getting it back in the next few days! 

    Budget wise  we are doing much better thanks to all of you amazing donors! Our cutting is coming out to around $1,100 and lucky we don't have to go on a road trip to pick it up during finals. Thanks to Martins Metal Fabrication in Vacaville for taking our project on short notice and quick turnaround!

    Final boards to come for Saturdays review in San Francisco, then Monday will be an open house to check out the studios projects (more coming soon).

    Lastly feel free to keep passing around the kickstarter to people you know! There is still a lot of budget to make up. All the money will be used in the project and the rewards. Plus these birdhouses make some pretty cool father's day gifts ;)

    Check out one of our early renderings of the project!

  • Update #4 Finals Push

    Hey backers and future backers!

    We are looking for one final push for the kickstarter to help offset any additional costs of the project which was around $1,400. Also, we want to get these bird houses out to anyone who might be interested! Please helpspread the word one last time before 10pm pst!

    Updating the project. We have our structure built in Oakland. Everything fits together and is ready to be lifted into place today as soon as I get done with the update. The tiles have come out of the kiln with a slightly unexpected color of what we are calling "mellow yellow" but the clay has fired to a beautifuldark chocolate brown with the grey grog really showing off the tooling patterns. 

    Yesterday our studio along with the rest of the advanced studios had our final review. Our excellent panel of judges brought up some interesting advice as far as applying this system in different architectural ways as well as had many excited comments of our digital and analog techniques and processes. 

    Monday (April 30th) 5-8pm We will be having an open house for all the student projects installed on the Oakland campus of CCA in the ceramics building. This is open for the public. If your local come on by and get a littletour of the structure as well as a chance to chat with us about the project. Wine and hor d'oeuvres will be served!

     Check out all our sweet photos below,

    but don't forget to give this kickstarter one last push before it ends today! 


  • Of course, the bird houses have two small holes in the very bottom to allow for drainage. The rest of the tiles will actually be able to retain water after being high fired and glazed.

    Last updated:
  • The color you see in the video is of un-glazed un-fired tiles (just black mtn. clay and some grey grog). When they are fired up to cone 5 or 6 the clay body will darken to a nice chocolate brown. As for the glazing, we have been mixing up test batches and testing different techniques. we are hoping to get a vivid color on the edges to attract the birds as well as a dark neutral glaze in side the tile that is wiped off to show off the tool paths. We will send out updates on the final glazing soon!

    Last updated:
  • Patience is a virtue.

    With that said, we will begin production in late June when the schools facilities open back up. Expect an email around then!

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    3 backers

    For just a dollar you can be the proud recipient of a huge "THANK YOU" for helping this become a reality. We'll throw in a hug if you're local!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    5 backers Limited (3 left of 8)

    If you pledge $20 you get a custom hand-made tile from the project fired and glazed ready to become your own bird bath, fruit bowl, coat hanger, change bowl, or whatever else you can think of!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    6 backers Limited (2 left of 8)

    For a $40 donation we will send you your own hand-made birdhouse. These hand-built homes are sized, textured and glazed for small dwelling birds. They even come with a hook, perfect to hang from a porch or a tree!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    6 backers Limited (2 left of 8)

    BOTH the tile and the birdhouse! HOLY COW this is a value folks!

    additional $ for international shipping

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Bonus pack! For $75 get four tiles OR two birdhouse

    makes great gifts! ;)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    For 1 lucky backer we will be sending you the mock up of the wall. This is similar to the one in the video. Includes wooden waffle structure + 15 different tiles + a bird house.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (8 days)