It is always eye-catching when we find something from our digital experience rendered around us in ‘real life’ – like these application-inspired bird homes made to give our flying friends their own marked destinations in the city. Shuchun Hsiao proposes these refuges as a means of navigation – a set of familiar points, much like Google Map pins are for us, to allow birds to make their way to and around appropriate landmarks.

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Google Map Pins bird houses on wall

The designer notes that birds have, in many regards, the most map-like experience of species already, as the expression ‘birds eye view’ suggests. And of course, humans can use them as wayfinding devices as well.

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“At the mention of macroscopic and microscope scales, I never fail to recall Charles and Ray Eames’s famous 1977 ‘Powers of Ten’ documentary, which cinematically zooms in and out on a picnicking couple. We now have a digital convenience of experiencing scale through Google Maps with a simple dash of the scroll wheel. Artist Shuchun Hsiao recognizes this 21st-century luxury, and the modern symbol that the red bubble marker has become, and shrinks this idea to a smaller scale for our aviary counterparts on Earth.”

Google Map Pins bird houses on roof

“In Project Google Birdhouse, Hsiao constructs a series of birdhouses all formed and painted like Google’s landmark icon, and peppers them around for our feathered friends’ accommodations with the hope that they will become navigation aids. Now, if the birds would start their own Google reviews of Hsiao’s work…”

Google Map Pins bird houses on house

About Shuchun Hsiao

“Shuchun Hsiao is a product designer specialized in consumer electronics for 9 years. He believes the creative idea comes from physically interact with objects, people and environment. Hsiao’s also skilled in hand making, exploring the possibilities of materials and shapes. This helps to generate more ideas, communicate better across team internally and externally.”