For humans, it’s hard enough to find room and board in the city without a great deal of searching and no small amount of aggravation. For the winged members of the community, it is even more challenging to find a dwelling when their normal habitats have been replaced by busting metropolises and suburbs. Kingston University graduate Aaron Dunkerton has created the Bird Brick, a unit of five clamp-fired bricks that offer a cavity for birds to nest. Able to be placed in walls or buildings, the design could help stem the spiraling decline of the UK’s native bird population.
In the last half a century, the house sparrow population in the UK has declined by a whopping 70 percent. The birds are sociable and like to nest in colonies of about three or four in or around homes. However, much of these small cavities have been filled or disappeared entirely, and the birds are running out of places to raise their young. The Bird Brick can be installed in collections of two to three in order to accommodate species like the house sparrow, and can be easily cleaned out once every two to five years some time between September to November. The brick itself creates a low thermal and moisture environment suitable for nesting while also being strong enough to be a robust building material.
The Bird Bricks are cast domestically with the help of MBH Freshfield Lane in West Sussex. Dunkerton’s project was named as one of 20 projects pegged for the Design Council’s 2013 Future Pioneer Award. Combining biology with architecture, the Bird Brick demonstrates that there is room for every creature to find a place to call home.