Evan McDougall
EXO COVER.jpg

EXO

 
 

EXO

Exo is a birdhouse specifically designed to help black capped chickadees survive harsh winters.  Every design decision from colour to textures merge aesthetics and functionality.

 
 
 

CHICKADEES

 

Chickadees are unique birds.  They are one of the only non-migratory birds in Canada and often live high into the Arctic region.  This means they have to survive temperatures as low as -40°C.  In order to achieve this, chickadees have evolved complex brains that allow them to hide and store thousands of seeds to feed themselves throughout the winter months.  This was the inspiration for Exo.

 
 
 
 

REQUIREMENTS

Chickadees are quite particular about where they decide to nest.  As small birds, they prefer nesting in forested areas so as to be protected from predators.  This means the birdhouse must attach directly to trees.  Knowing that chickadees cache seeds, I looked for ways of adding areas for the birds to cache the seeds on the outside of the birdhouse itself.  Materials that would offer added insulation were also considered.

 
 
 
 

PROTOTYPES

In conjunction with sketches, paper and foam models were used to iron out details.  As the design became more refined, so too did the models.

 
 
 
 

RUN SIZE AND MATERIAL CHOICE

 

The core of the product could either be TPU or cedar, both have pros and cons.  The material choice would likely be based on the client’s intended run size.  TPU would make sense for a large run size as it would require injection molds with a high initial investment cost.  TPU would also be more durable than cedar.  For a smaller run though, cedar would make more sense as the material of choice, requiring CNC machining instead of injection molding.  Cedar’s oils are naturally moisture resistant meaning no toxic sealers would need to be used on the product.

 
 
 
 

REFINEMENT

After the first iteration was completed, the design was refined with easier manufacturing in mind.

 
 
 
 

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