GRANT 29:

Bat Cloud

09/02/2013

When Professor and Architect Joyce Hwang sent us a Bat-Signal (quite literally) what else could we do but answer with awesome?

An “urban spectacle tapping strategies of publicity” to illustrate bats as a critical part of our ecosystem, the project was just too good and, frankly, too unusual not to welcome into our Awesome Without Borders menagerie.

Imagine a shimmering cloud hovers in the trees. Upon closer look, you notice the cloud is really a cluster of plant-covered vessels. What you don’t see, however, is what happens inside. Each multipurpose vessel is comprised of different levels. The top allows bats to enter and inhabit the structure while the lower level, filled with soil and native plants, is designed so that bat guano can fertilize them.

Despite their ecological significance (they serve as pollinators and ‘natural’ pesticides, assisting in the control of mosquito and other insect populations) bats are often seen as pests in urban environments and exterminated. What’s more, since 2006, bats in the northeastern part of the United States have been dying in great numbers due to White Nose Syndrome. With BAT CLOUD, Professor Hwang aims to combat the aesthetics of disappearance and indifference.

Recently selected to build and install a second iteration in the Netherlands as part of the 2014 International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam, this AWB grant will allow Hwang to ship the pods from their current home in Buffalo, New York’s Tifft Nature Preserve to the venue. Even better, after the exhibition, Hwang will donate the BAT CLOUD to a community in need. Find out more about this incredible work here. Long live the bats!