When considering useful design, we typically begin first by denoting which problem the product claims to be capable of solving, and then we consider the process and ultimate product innovation. Created by the designers at Studio Kononenko, Maverick, a ceramic bird feeder, doesn’t present a new solution for bird feeders but does present an approach for sustainable product manufacturing that solves a problem faced by many designers: the scrap material used during construction, like rings in clay kilns, that is discarded once the product is finished.
In collaborating with Ceramika Design and creating furniture items for the brand, the thinkers at Studio Kononenko wanted to make use of ceramic rings used when firing clay in kilns. On the process, the designers share, “Considering that the reserves of this clay are limited, we thought about extending the life of these elements. We wanted to create a useful thing out of this. This is how a feeder for wild birds appeared.”
The main element of the bird feeder is formed from ceramic – the frame and body of the bird feeder. Covering just about a quarter of the round frame is a plastic plate that functions to store plenty of food for the wild birds. Extending from the middle of the plastic plate is a wooden peg that works as a perch for birds to enjoy their seeds. Industrial, strong metal bolts and nuts hold it all together. The bird feeder itself comes with little frills, as the main purpose of this design rests not in aesthetic intricacy, but usability and sustainability. Another aspect of Maverick that enhances its eco-friendly design method is that the designers at Studio Kononenko made it so that each component of the bird feeder is replaceable on the off-chance that one is damaged either by hungry birds a little too eager for snacking or weak tree branches.
Up north, birds rejoice at the sight of backyard bird feeders as food in the winter months can be hard to come by with frozen topsoil and frost-covered plants. It seems the design of Maverick encapsulates a method of sustainability that inspires a cycle of feedback. In collaborating with Ceramika Design, Studio Kononenko produces items for human’s ease of life, then, the waste acquired is used to produce a bird feeder, which benefits an animal’s ease of life, heightening the natural artfulness of landscape design where the bird feeder is situated, and so on. While the design behind Maverick might be simple, the ecological commitment to recyclability is both bold and clever.
Designer: Studio Kononenko x Ceramika Design
The feeder consists of four materials: ceramic, wood, metal, and plastic linings.
Through an intuitive hanging method, Maverick can be suspended from any sturdy tree branch closeby where birds feed.
“While creating items for [the] brand, Ceramika Design, we paid attention to the rings used in the technological process. They are used when firing clay in kilns, and at the end of the process, they are disposed of. Considering that the reserves of this clay are limited, we thought about extending the life of these elements,” Studio Kononenko shares.
By incorporating plastic plates that enclose bird seeds, the designers at Studio Kononenko successfully transformed a ring-shaped tool used during clay firing into a functional bird feeder.
On Maverick’s aesthetic appeal, Studio Kononenko says, “The object is created in the style of minimalism and will be a cool addition to landscape design, and can also please the eye outside the window on the balcony.”