Still image from Double Happiness Video “Butterfly Vision”

Bug Filter

Students of UT Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA)

Bug Filter seeks to celebrate the under-acknowledged world of insects by allowing us to share their subjective perception. What if we could experience the world through a non-anthropocentric lens?  What if a series of lenses enabled us to see the world through the eyes of an insect? To explore these questions, a group of students from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin will capture the fascinating world of insect vision by designing and building filters that enable us to see as if through the compound eyes of arthropods.

 In collaboration with UTSOA Materials Lab, students will experiment casting hempcrete, an alternative cast-in-place concrete made from renewable resources. Hempcrete utilizes the woody core of the hemp plant and a lime-based binder.  This construction material locks carbon dioxide, creating what American Lime Technology calls “better-than-zero buildings.”  Industrial hemp’s high concentration of pollen could significantly increase bee populations according to research from Colorado State University.

An aim of the project is to raise awareness of the importance of bugs in the face of our impending biodiversity crisis. Recent studies predict that 40% of insect species are in danger of extinction in the coming decades due to the use of pesticides, climate change, and extensive urbanization. This rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of other species.

Bug Filter is a project designed by the following Interior Design and Architecture students from The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA): Natalie Avellar, Nai’lah Bell, Elizabeth Cooper, Grace Esslinger, Baxter Estes, Hannah Harden, Anna Henry, Paola Hernandez, Michelle Huh,  Abigail Kash, Elena Lyra, Marjan Miri, Payton Russell, Taylor Schill and Lisa Yang.

The project has been developed in the context of an Advanced design studio course held at UTSOA (Spring 2019) and lead by Assistant Professor Nerea Feliz.  The Materials Lab at UTSOA has generously supported this project. Bug Filter was conceived by Double Happiness (Nerea Feliz + Joyce Hwang).

From Fusebox We often speak about the need for empathy, to see and understand each other. And what about the creatures we cohabitate with, who are essential to our life on this planet, but who we know so little about? UT Architecture is decentering the human and giving us a window into how bees and other insects see the world.

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