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New Zealand Institute of Architects









Sharon Lam, finalist

Sharon Lam, from Victoria University of Wellington.

Photo by David St George


Sharon Lam, from Victoria University of Wellington, was a 2016 NZIA Central Innovation Student Design Awards finalist with her project ‘Architecture for You, Me and the Bees’.

Project description

“One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human,” wrote anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley. It’s a reflection that has been taken to heart in this work, which imagines a world where bee-kind lives on par with humankind and examines how architecture may be perceived by a non-human species. By looking at how bees could interact with humans at a domestic scale, or a commercial (including a sourdough hotel and apiary within an airport), this project calls into question human-centric norms in both design and society and seeks to reorganise established hierarchies, such as humans over nature, and humans over other humans.


With whimsical style, this courageous project asks us to look at another species and reflect on how we treat one another. While one obvious theme to this project is ‘bee kind’, a deeper and more provocative layer tackles the entrenchment of prejudice and asks us to reconsider our relationships and interactions with each other and the everyday. The delicacy and quirky nature of the presentation allows the viewer to temporarily experience a bee’s take on life.

Other finalists