Skip to main content

ZUBI. Building a bridge for the future.

Award category
Reconnecting with nature
You want to submit
NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS: concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Project title
ZUBI. Building a bridge for the future.
Full concept/idea title
A multi-species, biodegradable and educational nesting box.

'ZUBI' is a multi-species nesting box for a large range of bird species, including the bird of the year 2021 the common swift, and a whole range of saproxylic invertebrate endangered species that are local to Navarra (Spain) and other parts of the EU. Designed to be manufactured and built by carpentry students with local wood manufactures, within environmental education programs, makes this nesting box an educationally purposed choice, that also promotes sustainability, conservation and nature.

What is the geographical scope of your concept/idea?
Does your concept/idea address mainly urban or rural issues?
It addresses urban-rural linkages
Does your concept/idea refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to other types of transformations ('soft investment')
Has your concept/idea benefited from EU programmes and/or funds?
Has your concept/idea won an EU prize?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Word of mouth (colleagues, friends …)
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As an individual
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea

Since the begining of humanity, us humans, have been deteriorating the ecological status of our surroundings, but it is now that we have the consciousnes of the damage we have done and that still do. That's why we need to start to amend our mistakes. 

Nature is still everywhere, in a bigger or smaller portion. Urban environments are still full of wildlife, but we are too occupied to notice it sometimes, and only a few people that study environmental sciences know the amount of fauna and flora species that co-live with us in cities and their importance for a good ecological status of these environments. Nature has evolved and adapted to non-natural spaces, and some species are not forestrial anymore because of the human invasion of antique forests and the destruction of their natural habitats. Even if it seems like all the damage has been done, we are still destroying these adapted habitats for these now urban wildlife species, but it is time for us to rethink what we do and promote coexistence, as well as protecting the spaces that surround our cities and the rest of ecosystems.

Artificial nesting boxes have been used for a long time by biologists to promote species display and help them breed due to the lack of natural spaces to do so. Now, in an over produced world there is not only the need to conservate forestrial species, we also need to protect the ones that coexist with us in the same urban spaces.

With 'ZUBI' you create a new bridge to the future, a bridge that connects cities and forests, people and nature, students and animals, birds and invertebrates, in a human made but natural symbiosis. 

Please indicate the main themes of your concept/idea with 5 key words
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of environmental sustainability (including circularity) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

'ZUBI' is a sustainable nester in three different levels: sustains nature, sustains education and sustains circularity. 

One of the easiest ways to help endangered fauna species recover their populations is using artificial nesting boxes, both in cities and any other environments that are inhabited by these species. In Spain there are a lot of bird species that are endangered that need to be helped to recover their populations, and some of them have evolved to be only urban species, like for example the common swift (Apus apus), a bird species that visits spaniard cities and some other EU. countries during the summer to breed in old building cavities. Nevertheless, there are a lot of urban passerine bird species that need display like the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), great tit (Parus major), short-toed treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla), and them Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes). Forestrial species of invertebrates are as important as these urban bird species, that's why ZUBI can harbor these too. Some of the most important species involve de saproxylic invertebrates like Osmoderma eremita, biodiversity and good ecological status indicators that keep centennial oaks alive. 

Environmental education is more than necessary now a days, that's why this nesting box is designed to take part of the academic curriculum of some degrees like carpentry, to bring closer natural sciences to a bigger percentage of society. Creating awareness and a feeling of fulfillment.

Designed to be produced with locally harvested wood from regulated forests and no metal parts involved in its construction, as well as no non-biodegradable chemical adhesives, 'ZUBI' is a circular nester that promotes the reduction of carbon footprint, local production and local economy, and that protects local ecosytems from the begining of it's product live till the end by serving as food for the earth and as a habitat for xylophagic species. 

Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

Aesthetics are very important for everything located in urban environments, as well as in natural spaces. When we talk about a product that it's main task is to harbor endangered species like the common swift or Osmoderma eremita, we might think that the actual function of the object is more important than the aesthetics of it, but maybe, the actual aesthetics can come from its functionality, as it is the case with 'ZUBI'. 

Depending on the location and the species that it will manage, it can be installed and combined in different ways; horizontally for common swifts in cities, vertically for other passerine birds in trees both in cities or forests and also vertically for saproxylic invertebrates (Osmoderma eremita) in forests. This way, the same design and the same nester can be used in different ways reducing the production and also de wood used. 

When used in cities in the horizontal orientation, it can be installed in colonies to fulfill the needs of the common swift that usually lifes in big groups of couples in the same place, using a cavity per couple. This way, the curved and laminated design that creates the internal cavity with wood rings, helps with floods and creates an interesting pattern on buildings. 

When used for saproxylic invertebrates, it is used vertically, leaving the door that horizontally is located in one side on top, allowing the box to be filled with organic material to allow these invertebrates to live there. It is also possible to unify two boxes that are symmetrical, creating a bigger cavity and increasing the employment possibilities. In forest it is best to avoid making holes in trees, so the box can be installed with a belt thanks to the laminated build, creating the illusion of beign a bee nest, acting as a biomimmetical object.

Lastly, there is the possibility of creating smaller boxes by combining less rings, to create boxes that are installed vertically for passerine bird species. 


Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

Environmental education should be something that everyone in society needs to receive, sooner or later. With 'ZUBI', the actual production is thought to be performed by carpentry students, bringing the opportunity of participating in biodiversity conservation to a larger percentage of society. 

There are a lot of people from the creative field and the production field that can do a lot more than what we are taught that we can. We can study our surroundings, and create beautiful and useful things that will sustain nature, local economy and productions systems, and the future generations. Public participation for environmental acts is very important, we all live in the same world, and the weight of mantaining it shouldn't be on the shoulders of the few people that decide to study and work on the environmental field. 

The professionals that have the access to local products and industries, the ones that can make the conservation of the planet affordable are the ones that need to start doing actions to make this possible, with for example, 'ZUBI'.  

'ZUBI' is also a product that creates a symbiosis between designers and producers, as well as in between people and nature, urban environments and forestrial ones. Making people part of conservation activities, creating an engagement within citizens and the natural surroundings, bringing the feeling of importance and fulfillness. 


Please explain how these three dimensions would be combined in your concept/idea.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

These three dimensions: sustainability, aesthetics and inclusion are combined with ease in 'ZUBI'. As it is a social project to promote local endangered species display and conservation, that brings the aesthetic part of function and promotes not only environmental education but also local production from citizens. 

From the point of view of natural sciences, these idea can be exemplary due to the combination of environmental education and consciousness, sustainable and local production, and conservation and display purposes, that at all times involve society behind the priority of keeping and eye on the good status of natural environments. 

It's impossible to keep a good ecological status of cities and other ecosystems without people knowing what is going on, why, and how it can really be kept like that. Actual environmental education programs embody nesting boxes, but not as a curricular part of professional studies, if people that know how to do the boxes knows why these are necessary, they would have a better quality and will do a better job at producing them, and will be able to work hand to hand with environmentalist. Unifying the work of designers, industries and biologists to help nature. 

Please highlight the innovative character of the concept/idea as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the concept/idea.

There is a whole market of artificial nesting boxes for a whole range of differents fauna species. 'ZUBI' is different, it is not only a nesting box, it is also a study tool and a connection point. 

Mainstream practices in the field of conservation don't have the aesthetic element, neither the design that's behind this nester. They're based on action and function, and sometimes take into account the environmental education, but mostly centered on species display purposes. 

The idea behind this wood nesting box is to create the bridge that separates design, citizens, local industries, education centers and biologists, environmentalist, and nature. Without one of the parts involved in this product, the end result could not be possible, because people needs nature and nature needs people.



Please detail the general plans that you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea.

After doing the previous research to be able to design and prototype 'ZUBI', there is the need to test its effectiveness with the thought users of the nest.

For that, there has to be done a promotion of the actual project, to involve companies, institutions, education centers, conservation associations, and goverments. And this way be able to make a small production of the boxes and test them out to complete the cycle of the boxes and create the actual symbiosis that it supports. 

Testing the boxes is crucial to be able to detect possible lacks in the design or the production process, and better the end result to harbor nature properly while educating people on how to take care of fauna. 

Imagine that your idea/concept is awarded in the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022. What kind of initiatives would you take throughout the following year (June 2022- June 2023)

Promoting the project is one of the main priorities for this idea, as it sustains actions that need to be done in a short period of time to slow down the population decline of the animal species supported with this nesting box. Without funds these process is much more slower and reaches a lot less people, making it impossible to take off and be tested out in a propper way. 

Local wood is much more expensive than foreign production woods, which makes the actual process of making the necessary amount of first prototypes to be tested out a lot more difficult than it should be. If awarded in the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022 'ZUBI' could take off and fulfill its purposes; educate, enrich and protect. 


By ticking this box, you declare that you are not in in one or more of the exclusion situations foreseen under Article 136 of the Financial Regulation.
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that you assume sole liability in the event of a claim relating to the activities carried out in the framework of the contest, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022 in any other category or strand and that it has not been subject to any type of investigation, which could lead to a financial correction because of irregularities or fraud.
By submitting your application, you guarantee that you are the author or have the rights to proceed with the application and to authorise the use of the project, concept, idea, and that you have obtained any necessary consents, licenses or assignments from third parties and included copyright notices when necessary.
By submitting your application, you understand that all the applications that meet the eligibility requirements will be shared for the purposes of the selection processes, and notably published on the secured platform and for the purposes of the promotion of these on the New European Bauhaus website and/or other European Commission communication channels. In this sense, the applications would be widely available. Applicants should ensure that they present their ideas, concepts, projects, in such a way that they could be shared without giving rise to intellectual property related concerns. If your submission is selected as one of the finalists, it will additionally be shared for the purpose of the public vote that will take place. The European Union is granted a licence to use and share your application with the general public and the official external experts for the purposes of the selection process, including the voting. The European Union has the right to use the images and visual materials and the description provided in the application for communication purposes related to the contest and beyond. Rights granted comprise the right to store, reproduce, display, publish and communicate or distribute copies in electronic or digital format, including, but not only, through the internet. Unless you have disclosed your name, the European Commission has no obligation to share your name when using or disseminating your contribution to the public. The European Union cannot be held responsible in case any submitted idea, project, concept is found to infringe third parties rights. The European Union shall be neither responsible for the use that third parties may do of the applications or related content.


In order to submit your project, please make sure you have filled in all the mandatory fields marked with *, in both the “Basic information” and “Description of the project” tabs.


The country you have selected is not a Member State of the EU.

Please select the country your project was either implemented in the EU for strand A in or is being developed or intended to be implemented in the EU for strand B.