Modernseed, the baby store run by two modernist moms (and savvy businesswomen) offers “All Things Modern for the Mini,” both online and on-site at their storefront in Oakland, CA. There is much to see at Modernseed, including furniture, bedding, clothing, and toys for budding style mavens and miniature modern designers. One feature of the company you might not notice if you are merely shopping is the Modernseed Birdhouse Design Competition, which has just completed its second year.
The design competition has two categories: kids and adults. The 2005 winner in the adult category was the “Nest Modern Birdhouse” , which redefines green building by providing birds with recycled material for their nest. The body of the birdhouse is made with reused plywood scraps and held together with stainless steel hardware. The roof is an old book that has been coated in waterproof shellack to protect it from the elements. The interior of the book has been left intact, so that from the inside, birds can tear out the pages and use them in the nest.
Though the book roof is waterproof, its designer does not claim it will hold up forever. In fact, the designer incorporates a customizable/modular effect by encouraging the owner to switch books every so often, creating a new look for the house every time. The body of the house is built to last, and can be easily cleaned by removing the base. (A yearly cleaning allegedly encourages new nesters.)
This designer has left nothing out! In consideration of the future inhabitants’ welfare, the house is designed without an exterior perch to prevent predators from having access to the inside. A humane, sustainable, modular, modern birdhouse! This win is well-deserved.