The Shelter Project: nesting in the built environment

The Shelter Project, seeks to create alternative forms of housing for our companion species out of discarded, man-made, detritus . Shown above is an indoor installation of the project at the Manhattan Tundra exhibition on the 65th floor of the World Trade 4 Building. Each hard-walled suit, luggage and makeup case in the exhibition has been ventilated and retrofitted with pine walled nesting and hibernation chambers.

SuitcaseMid_Demaray copy
In an effort to better utilize human detritus, the Shelter Project aims to consider the ways that human refuse may be re-purposed in order to support the needs of non-human life forms.  Pictured above are  discard hard-walled Samsonite and American Tourister suit, luggage and makeup cases that have been retrofitted as nesting and hibernation boxes for birds and bats.

More than 50 different species of birds nest in bird houses. In suburban areas where there is less vegetation or natural environments, nesting boxes are essential in providing the birds with a safe place to raise their young. When birds migrate, bird houses also provide them with a place to rest.

This project aims to consider the ways that human refuse can be re-purposed in order to support the needs on non-human life forms. If you have old, plastic luggage that has been created in half shell molds (meaning that they don’t have seams) that you would like to convert, guides to nest box plans for your region and habitat can be found at


Published by demaray

I kinit sweaters for plants, I culture lichen on the sides of skyscrapers in New York City and I manufacture alternative forms of housing for hermit crabs, out of plastic. With the engineer Dr. Qingze Zou, I am currently creating the IndaPlant Project: An Act of Trans-Species Giving in which I am building light-sencing robotic supports for housplants. These moving floraborgs allow potted-plants to roam freely in a domestic environment, in search of sunlight and water.

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