Today’s Solutions: December 03, 2021

Insects need a little love. They currently face a multitude of different threats, from pesticides and climate change to invasive species and the spread of deforestation. All of these things are taking such a toll on insect populations that as many as 40 percent of all species may be endangered in the coming decade.

Many different measures have to be taken to start helping insect populations get back on their feet (or wings), and a good place to start is in our own cities, where sprawling concrete leaves little room for the food that insects need to survive. That’s why Dutch designer Matilde Boelhouwer created a bunch of artificial flowers that provide insects an emergency source of food in the city.

A daisy-like shape, laser-cut from polyester and colored bright yellow and violet, attracts bees. A simple symmetrical shape attracts bumblebees; a bright pink, orchid-like shape attracts butterflies. The shape and color of the flowers are what make each one different, but inside they’re all the same as each flower has a reservoir of sugar that mixes with water when it rains, which provides insects with the food they need. The idea behind this faux-flower project is to install these flowers on building facades and other areas where real plants can’t grow.

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