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Annabelle Schneider


Sticky like Honey – Together with the youngest and the smallest for a sweeter tomorrow. 1 week with 20 Bees.

Annabelle Schneider

As a spatial designer who loves to work with and for people, I believe social behavior and change stand in dialogue with good design. In this sense, I relate to spatial concepts of interior futures; Speculative designs and concepts for the now and hopefully a better everyday life tomorrow. Most innovations can be found in play and curiosity when interacting with the future of humanity: our kids. From storytelling, to rituals of making, and excursions – all are communal activities that let us create, speculate and hope together.

Last summer, I visited my hometown Bern (Switzerland) and dedicated 1 week to work and playfully create with the youngest on the topic of the (almost) smallest but tremendously big influential forces on the planet: The bees.

Typically, I build spaces for people. Yet, the following project was initiated while I was building an architectural model in a smaller scale than usual and its shape, patterned surfaces and dimensions, suddenly reminded me of a bee house – its symbolic and relevance touched me and it was evident: This becomes my new TOY Cap project. A project performed together with the generation of tomorrow, for their hopefully healthier future.

I designed one full week program in the center of the bee:
Filled with stories, facts, films, creative discourses of reproducing fabrics with bee wax, candles, designing our own bee sunglasses and dying shirts and shorts to connect and camouflage with bees. Looking at plants and environmental modifications we can make to provide a bit of a better living space (in urban areas) for the bees by even building one bee house per person and eventually visiting a beekeeper who hosts and works with bees on the roof of Bern’s Lindenhof Hospital. While spending a full morning within the cosmos of the Lindenhof bees, we later also could produce our own honey. The glow in the kid’s eyes while turning the wheel of the machine was an unparallel experience for me.
The next day already marked the final day of that eventful week for and with the bees. We all grew as a group and produced much content that wanted to be presented to friends and family. The exhibition morphed into and event for which we baked pastries made out of honey and drank drinks bees would like too. Guests and kids – all were summing together through the hallways where artful masterpieces of bee-ful stories were exhibited.

I pitched the 1-week program to a “Kita” in Bern. An idea of popular demand. The nursery I was collaborating with was the one that housed a wide range of ages, languages and cultures – to me, this forms an environment in which most interesting experiments are born. The more diverse, the richer the outcomes in creative processes and learnings. – Just like one aspect of TOY (Forever Young) I love so much; Like his mother, also Yves was curious to immerse with other cultures. And when reflecting on today’s TOY family I see this richness of a great diversity of blossoms scattered all over the planet. Or like bees, we’re all summing, flying, mingling, but mostly busy working and producing all around the precious planet – but always and ever again we receive this golden moment of joy, exchange, surprise, in our phones, mails, or in person; in smaller or bigger groups of the TOY family; The Queen (and the King) bring us together. Experiences of joy, love, reflection but also visions – precious, sweet and sticky like honey.

Visuals (Video):

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