porky hefer & african weaver birds

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.