porky hefer & african weaver birds

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These are the nests of African weaver birds – nature’s original random weavers.


You know I can’t resist some oversized weaving so I absolutely had to share these human sized nests designed by ex ad-man turned designer Porky Hefer of Animal Farm (that’s right people!) and being made by South African weavers. They are based on the ‘designs’ of the nests above.

This ia a tree-house for two.

These are drawings of the variety of species of African Weaver Bird nests Porky used for inspiration…

…and here are Porky’s sketches.

I think I love these drawings as much as the realisation.

The nests have been made in collaboration with Mthobeli Aaron Bakana. Says Hefer “I always lived under [weaver birds] and always wondered what it was like up and in there. Finally I decided to make my fantasy reality. The most difficult thing was finding the right person who understood exactly what I was talking about and didn’t think I had been smoking my socks.”

In a case of biomimicry (the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems.[1]) the nests have been made on stilts…

hanging from trees,…

and even with slides!

A bit mad, in a good way.  I’m not sure if they are providing any real human habitat solutions (although a waterproof version is in the works) and Porky’s kooky website is a lot about bringing more consumers to brand names which I am not at all about but perhaps he’s creating work for the South African weavers and some fun along the way.

If you would like to weave like an African bird, come along to one of  my workshops and I’ll show you how.

x Harriet

All pictures from designboom.com

  1. ^ Reading University: What is Biomimetics? 3 June 2012. via Wikipedia.

7 thoughts on “porky hefer & african weaver birds

  1. I lived in Uganda for 4 years and was also fascinated by Weaver bird nests and blogged about them. I am an architect and so had a fascination with how they were constructed. The male builds it for his intended mate, and if she doesn’t like it she snips the connection at the top and it falls down and he has to start again!

  2. My children want me to recreate one in our stand of ancient pines in Margaret River! I’ll need a master class in weaving first, just to start with!!! Any plans to come over here Harriet? It’s lovely this time of year……..

    1. No plans for Margaret River just now Georgia. I’m managing to squeeze in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney (twice), Scone, and Camden (twice), before the end of the year! However I would LOVE to come so if you can get a group together… I have a friend there so I could possibly help spread the word. Maybe early next year? I’ll email you. H.

  3. Hi Hat

    This would have to be one of my favourite posts ever, where do you find all these great inspirations.

    Thank you

    Love Pen

  4. I think we need one at Glenmore….but a Harriet version please! I’m going to email you an image of the girls nesting in one of these at Babylonstoren, RSA, (my FAVOURITE garden in the whole world). It simply MUST be one of Porky’s, though I didn’t know it until now, and it made us all squeal with delight! Mx

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