Revolutionary beehive Flow Hive has taken out the top award at the Good Design Awards 2016.
The beehive created by Cedar Anderson and his father Stuart is seen as one of Australia’s biggest crowdfunding successes for its innovative take on harvesting honey in a fuss-free and simple way.
It works by using plastic honeycomb cells, which mimic real ones. With the turn of a handle, the cells are cracked open and honey is drained out with the honeycomb frames locking back into place afterwards to be refilled once more.
Good Design Awards CEO Brandon Gien said Flow Hive was one of his favourite designs because it was helping to support bees which have been threatened by the increased use of pesticides in recent years.
“I always position design in a problem solving context. The projects out there that do really well, they are solving very clear problems,” he said.
“Our proportion of bees around the world are decreasing. If bee population around the world goes, we go. Bees keep the world going.”
The duo from Byron Bay on the New South Wales north coast, spent 10 years on the project before coming up with the revolutionary honey harvester that would provide honey on tap without disturbing the bees inside.
Last year in April, the beehive raised $US70,000 — their target — in eight minutes on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo and had $US2 million pledged in the 24 hours after that. It was the most that had ever been pledged on a crowdfunding site in that amount of time.
By the end of the campaign, Flow Hive had raised $15 million in two months.
“Flow Hive is still about how design changes the landscape, but it’s a grassroots example. It’s about the new value eco-system that starts with an idea in a backyard, literally, that creates its own opportunity through crowdfunding because of its ability to capture peoples’ imagination,” said Gien.
“It’s not perfectly resolved from an industrial design point of view. It’s not sleek. There are rough edges. But it’s an ingenious improvement on an ancient human craft. And it shows that design – as a process of solving problems that matter to people – has never been more accessible.”
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