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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Hive is a modular kinetic architecture inspired by bee colony behaviour. There are certain types of honeybees that produce a Mexican wavelike cascade called ‘shimmering’, when they feel threatened. When a wasp or other big insects come too close to the hive, the honeybees work together to disorient the threat. The effect of wave makes it difficult for an insect to single out and attack an individual honeybee. The design project attempts to harness this behaviour to create a shimmering facade system.

Hive has a single-button full automatic core system. It tessellates any type of geometry into hexagons, and then exports fabrication, assembly data and cost estimation to the user by pressing only one button. This programme can be used by anyone with or without having knowledge about coding, mechanical systems and electrical wirings, to turn their own concepts into reality. This is inspired by intrinsic attitudes of bees who organise their hive build through bottom up emergent order.

Fabricated sub-surface of the pavilion:

One single petal containing MicroServo motor and 3D printed part for support structure connection:

Assembly of 192 selected petals from pavilion:

Hive Portfolio is a presentation of all steps:

This process can also be seen on project link: