Members of the corvid family are among the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom. With a brain size ratio comparable to the one found in large primates, their resourcefulness and ingenuity is largely underestimated. Their intelligence and resiliency has allowed them to adapt and thrive in every habitat especially if a human settlement is nearby.
In 2008, Joshua Klein developed a vending machine that fed treats to crows in exchange for coins. The Crow House builds upon this idea of domestication and proposes to employ the crows to aid in the recollection of recyclable garbage.
Crow House is intended to reflect the relationship between man and nature. While crows clean the parks and streets, humans replenish their food supply, provide shelter and maintain the trash receptacle. It is through this “public domestication” that the birds turn into the “city pet”.
The crow firstly would spot a piece of trash (1). It would then start flight in order to fetch it. (2) Once it has seized the garbage it would fly towards the crow house and stand in the entrance perch (3). The crow would then drop the litter into a tray that activates the entrance mechanism allowing the bird to access shelter, food and water (4, 5). Finally it would leave (6) and start the process again.
Even though crows have been dismissed as pests and carriers of bad omens for centuries, there is great potential in their intellect which could be harnessed for mutual benefit.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Buffalo, NY, US
My Role: Designer