by , 10/09/06

resolution: 4 architecture, prefab, birdhouses, dwell, dwell on design,

Most people associate Resolution: 4 Architecture with prefab — especially their work for Dwell’s custom prefab collection. The last time we saw RES4 was, in fact, at Dwell on Design, but what captivated us was not so much their gorgeous modern architecture as a little accent piece they created recently for a charity event: a birdhouse inspired by the classic urban tennis-shoes-over-the-telephone-wire trick.

The design emerged amidst explorations into modular construction for urban environments, and strategies for achieving maximum efficiency and minimum waste in residential fabrication. They chose to create these small-scale habitats to experiment with digital rapid (SLA) prototyping. “We are interested in all types of digital fabrication via mill, water jet, 3D printers and contour control sculpting,” says RES4 partner Paul Coughlin, “but the 3D printer seemed the most applicable to our modern modular explorations which exploit volumetric unitization, not surface unitization.”

resolution: 4 architecture, prefab, birdhouses, dwell, dwell on design,

The geometry and fabrication process create a continuous surface printable in one volume. The holes both texture the shell and allow nests to peek through. They are also scalable according to the size of the bird they are built for. “The birdhouses can be clustered in various sized groups and slung over a tree branches, creating a (utopian?) bird community,” says Coughlin, “The birdhouse proves that nothing is too small to test grand ideas.”

+ Resolution: 4 Architecture

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  1. Erik van Lennep October 1, 2007 at 3:26 am

    So funny! I love the look of these, and appreciate the inspiration behind them. I agree that a spinning, swinging perforated (subject to soaking from the rain) milk bottle seems an unlikely choice for nesting. They would make attractive lights however.

    But the perennial question begged by this and so many other designs is: Why aren’t designers trained to connect the dots? Of all professions, design is the one which should be leading the way on integrated thinking….I mean is that not what the design process is supposed to entail? Why didn’t the designers ask themselves just what a good birdhouse needs to provide? Others have already pointed out the obvious flaws, which are so fundamental they will ensure no bird would look twice at these.

  2. Inhabitat » PREFA... April 20, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    […] 4 Architecture has quite the list of impressive projects, from their Modular BirdHouses to their Dwell […]

  3. Masako Masumoto November 17, 2006 at 12:14 am

    This will be my incognito, my house.
    A house for a blue bird, I can be snuggled; snuggled down; like a hammck in the sky.

  4. Michael October 12, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    At my office there are a series of birdhouses hung by string from trees. The problem with them is that they spin with the slightest bit of wind and no birds will live in them. The holes in the design will help, but I’m still not sure a hanging bird tree will be inviting to a bird. Still, it is an interesting piece and i like the metaphor being used here.

  5. Kevin at TasteTV October 12, 2006 at 7:55 pm

    Those are very cool birdhouses, but the question about cleaning is relevant. Perhaps the rain? Maybe we should profile them on TasteTV? FYI, if you haven’t seen the TasteTV video abou the Dwell on Design Conference, you can see it at, or go here:

  6. amy lou stein October 12, 2006 at 1:01 am

    well they are super pretty, for sure!

  7. matt October 11, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    interseting idea, but how do you clean them out?

  8. Olivier Pigasse October 11, 2006 at 7:14 am

    Super gesture, very good concept, but why not to chose a cheaper process ??? …
    (round molded ? > french low cost translation)

  9. fiona macandrew October 10, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Love these bird houses. Are they for sale, and if so, how do I get hold of them?

  10. Donna Eble October 10, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    These are not only brillant but functional! How do I get my hands on these- I want a dozen!

  11. &r... October 10, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    […] Created by RESOLUTION: 4 Architecture merely as peice for a charity event, these birdhouses were lovingly inspired by the urban shoe/powerline trick.  This project also served as an opportunity to experiment with digital rapid (SLA) prototyping.  Flung over a telephone line, or a tree limb, they come in different sizes for different birds.  This is the sort of genius that comes when a designer that is used to more complex problems takes on a simple one.  These are functional, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing… I want some. [Source= Inhabitat] […]

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