Renowned design award for innovative beehive

Institutions and innovators worldwide are working to improve honey bees environments and restore lost habitats. Philip Potthast and Fabian Wischmann, graduates of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (HTW Berlin), achieved second place in the James Dyson Award 2021 in Germany with the HIIVE project. The renowned international competition honors students and recent graduates in the fields of engineering and design for innovative inventions. Potthast and Wischmann convinced the jury with a new type of beehive that addresses the needs of humans and animals.

“The fact that one of our Industrial Design students has won a James Dyson Award again this year is not only an honor for the graduates, but also for our course and the university,” says Prof. Pelin Celik, professor in the course Industrial design. HTW Berlin offers an ideal environment in which excellent, application-oriented teaching is combined with a spirit of enterprise and a focus on sustainability issues.

HIIVE is a beehive with a completely new aesthetic that was developed by Philip Potthast and Fabian Wischmann, both HTW Berlin graduates. Conventional beehives, as they have been in use for more than 150 years, are not optimal for honey bees, as they have to use a lot of energy to maintain the desired temperature over the course of the seasons. HIIVE, on the other hand, takes an approach that addresses the needs of humans and animals: the beehive ensures an optimal microclimate and safe survival for the bees. It is also easy to use for beekeepers.

The idea for HIIVE came about as part of Philip Potthast’s thesis in the Industrial Design course.  Potthast got to know about the start-up funding from Fabian Wischmann, a graduate of the International Business course. As an interdisciplinary team, they put the idea into practice and founded a startup. 

“Our Industrial Design course, with its focus on Universal Design & Sustainability, trains young designers who are no longer satisfied with just designing products, but also design systems and services that have a sustainable approach. Sustainability doesn’t just mean jute bags and cork, but also resource-saving development that is technologically implemented to enable business in harmony with nature”

 Prof. Pelin Celik.

The jury consisting of Regine Bönsch (VDI Nachrichten), Stefan Eckstein (Association of German Industrial Designers eV ), Professor Peter Naumann (University of Munich), Professor Tom Philipps (University of Darmstadt) and Sven Fischer (LUWE GmbH / ecosign Academy for Design Cologne) chose the HIIVE project took second place in the James Dyson Award 2021 in Germany.

The James Dyson Award

The James Dyson Award has been presented to innovative students and fresh graduates in engineering and design for inventions that solve problems since 2005. This problem can be one that we all face in everyday life, or it can be a global problem. It is important that the solution is effective and has a well thought-out concept. This year there were more than 2,000 submissions from 28 countries for the James Dyson Award.

Thanks to its second place at the James Dyson Award in Germany, the HIIVE project is now entering the international phase of the James Dyson Award, as are the other finalists from all 28 participating countries. The international winners will be announced on November 17th.

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