23 Dec Nests Workshop
A nest or a work of art? We are birds!
CACiS starts a dialogue with the spaces and materials that surround us, looking to establish a better relationship with the environment and incorporating it into any learning stage or school setting.
This workshop shows us how bird nests work throughout the year.
Activity Schedule (one session):
- Observing and acknowledging the environment. The many uses of found materials.
- Gathering, triaging and uses of organic materials: using logs to create sculptural installations / tree scraps to create colour pigments (lignines).
We’ll start from the need to calmly contemplate nature, taking enough time to listen to it, feel it and question ourselves in order to interpret it and learn from its wealth. Understanding the importance of the natural habitat, for us and for all living beings; the concept of life-cycle assessment and its different stages, needs, opportunities and challenges presented by external factors in each stage.
We’ll be introducing words such as biomimetics: observing and reinterpreting an answer to a need or an adversity, identifying architectonic solutions or others.
Lastly, we’ll look at the nest as a work of art: decontextualizing the object and giving it greater relevance (depending on the setting, contextualization, etc.).
Workshop dynamic (two approaches):
- Going outside to look for useful materials to build a nest.
- Classifying the found materials, sorting out the bigger logs to build a base, the thinner sticks for the structure and the leaves and dry grass to cover the structure.
- Collectively building a nest.
- Choosing the logs’ organic shapes that will better suit the shapes needed.
- Classifying the varying materials allows for a particular aesthetic. At this point, we at CACiS discussed how introducing colour into the composition can transform it into a contemporary work of art.
- Back in the classroom, with the previously unused materials, we worked on building small nests in order to explore their plasticity when working with small children.
- During nesting season (starting in March), plants such as clevers or catchweed can be used. The whole plant is covered in small spurs that help it stick to clothes like Velcro, hence why they’re useful to make smaller nests.
- More elaborate nests can be made out of mud and branches, leaves or other dry organic materials. Many birds do so to achieve more secure nests.
- Identifying materials used in structures built by living beings.
- Looking around for invasive species we can use in our artwork.
- Relating structures made by animals with the works of contemporary artists.
- Pointing out the many purposes of animal structures, aesthetical or functional.
- Playing with and applying construction techniques through the observation and manipulation of organic materials.
- Seeking sensorial and social aspects, and the relationship between human beings and the environment.