Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Artist Turns Trash Into Bird Houses

Installing a new avian condo. Photo courtesy: © Happy City Birds

Have you ever wonder why Angry Birds are so angry? Maybe it’s because not enough of us are building them charming birdhouses like street artist Thomas “Dambo” Winther. Dambo’s Happy City Birds project is upcycling trash into birdhouses for natures little recyclers.

This birdie condo is not only delightfully creative; it makes this wall an interesting focal point of the building. Photo courtesy: © Happy City Birds

My Modern Met quotes the artist as saying, “Birds are actually great at recycling and we need to appreciate this. They eat old food, fruits, berries, and nuts lying about. In that way, they help to clean and distribute seeds around our cities, so new plants can grow.”

A broken skateboard makes an excellent roof for this home. Photo courtesy: © Happy City Birds

Indeed, birds will repurpose twigs, fibers and various pieces of trash and turn them into nests to lay their eggs in.

After making some bird houses by hand, they are hung separately instead of in a group. Photo courtesy: © Thomas "Dambo" Winther

The project started off, like many, on MySpace where Dambo documented his manufacturing and installation of 250 Birdhouses in Denmark from discarded and donated materials--save for the money he spent on nails-- in 2008.

Birds inhabit every environment possible. Here a condo brightens up a dingy alley way. Photo courtesy: © Happy City Birds

Since then he’s built and installed hundreds of birdhouses in various cities. Including, 150 colorful birdhouses in Beirut, and as the Happy City Birds project he now hosts workshops and events to teach others how to make birdhouses.

In the mini-documentary above about the Happy City Birds project, Dambo tells a story of two boys at a birdhouse building workshop who still wanted to build birdhouses even after they had ran out of materials. The two boys went home and salvaged speakers from an alley and brought them back to be upcycled into birdhouses.

Photo courtesy: © Happy City Birds

The artist-turned-birder wants us to reexamine our views on trash and to question whether we are leaving space in urban cities for birds. He hopes that one day one of the young kids who attend his workshops grows up to build an entire house from trash.

Just like your friends, Dambo’s Happy City Birds project is now on Facebook. You can look over the photo gallery to get ideas if you too would like to build birdhouses. Birdhouse plans are available in Danish, German and English so you can make your own birdhouse.

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