As evidenced by renderings for buildings that look like giant floating lilypads, ancient mushrooms, or suspended amoebas, biomimicry—that is, man-made objects that look like things found in nature—is pretty much considered the bee's knees in architecture these days. What's more, human nests—sleeping pods made of things like eucalyptus and maple saplings that perch above California highways, design museums, and wealthy folks' backyards—have particularly been enjoying a moment in the sun. So, really, it was only a matter of time before the New York Times published a beautifully written, rambling piece of prose on the matter. Here now, the 10 best lines from, ah, "Twigitecture: Building Human Nests:"
10. "In 2008, Benjamin Verdonck, a Belgian artist, made a giant nest of wood, glue and foam and somehow attached it to the outside of the 13th floor of a skyscraper in Rotterdam. You can see him playing bird in a YouTube video, flapping his arms and tweeting, old school."
9. "'Basically, it was three stupid Englishmen trying to behave like hummingbirds. We drank a lot of nectar, which does strange things to your mood.'"
8. "Although he broke his back [falling out of a nest], he has made upward of 25 nests since then, including nests for a Laurie Anderson project in Switzerland, a community nest in an East Village garden and a $70,000 nest for the son of a corporate raider in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles."
7. "I could see the stars through the nest's oculus entry and hear the elephant seals miles below honking and braying in a lullaby like no other."
6. "The nest is so popular, there have been nest marriages and, inevitably, nest babies. Proud parents send him photos."
5. "Nests are 'probably the purest antidote to the heavy steel-and-concrete building footprints that, city by mega-city, are overtaking the globe.'"
4. "'[Birds] are also summa cum laude engineers, able to transform cheap, insubstantial building materials into the most durable and cozy of homes. All this without a single CAD rendering, which today's architecture students are helpless without.'"
3. "He has designed cane nests woven by blind people, nests made from the plastic strapping around shipping containers and nests of recycled tires and leather off-cuts."
2. His leather nest sold for $17,000 to a Formula One driver who saw it at the Basel art fair.
1. You would think a solo sleepover in such a precarious abode would give one the jimjams.