How do humans shape the lives of bees? Rebecca Marsland looks at the relationship of humans and bees to highlight the artificial divide between nature and culture. She investigates three different kinds of beekeepers (commercial, urban and natural) in the UK, the Netherlands and the US. Her work explores important issues, such as pollination for monocultures in the US, building and affecting their living environment, i.e. different kind of beehives and their purpose for us as humans.
Rebecca Marsland commissioned us to create an exhibition stand for the Edinburgh Science Festival touching on those themes. We designed a range of learning activities for kids between 6–12 to play and interact with her research, encouraging them to think about how bees’ lives are shaped by the way we live.
This project included the overall exhibition design and concept, art direction of the illustration and bespoke furniture. We worked closely with the client to plan a variety of learning activities and re-arranging the exhibition over the course of the festival. Learning cards were created that gave the audience prompts and more background information on the different topics.
We developed the concept of a growing learning-wall installation to enable deeper learning. The same way bees collect pollen, the children would use hexagon-shaped acrylics to share their own insights with notes and drawings with other visitors.
A real beehive was re-purposed to include a time-lapse video showing the birth of bees from larvae to fully grown bees. Images of the beehive placed within the frames further illustrated how an actual beehive could look for different scenarios and diseases.
The exhibition stand (within the Experimentarium in Summerhall) was well received and was selected to be featured in the Scottish press (The Herald) covering the Edinburgh Science Festival.