If you’ve visited Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront during the past few years, you’ll have noticed an imposing sculpture called “Cratefan”. Built from 2 500 standard-sized Coca-Cola bottle crates, which happen to resemble very large LEGO blocks, it was created by Porky Hefer and Warren Lewis of the Animal Farm creative consultancy in celebration of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Still aboard their conceptual rollercoaster, albeit on a less ambitious scale, the duo have just unveiled a new experiment in lateral thinking, dubbing it Birdwatcher. In essence, it’s a combination CCTV camera and bird house (or more accurately, bird feeder) designed to supplement the nutrient needs of the local bird population while keeping evildoers away from your premises.
Hefer is a former ad agency guy who worked for various firms in Cape Town, Johannesburg and New York. His consultancy aims to produce things that make us smile and embed themselves in our heads (in a good way). Another example: the “fun dog ball” with teeth, now branded “Grinz” and marketed by Rogz, a company that prides itself on selling the world’s coolest pet gear. Hefer cites this an example of what he calls “New Nature Technology” – that is, no electricity required, and no payments to security companies. Interestingly, he reveals that he’s sold a bunch of cameras to people in the Netherlands, but only one to a South African buyer.
His comment: “It really is a pity that the South African taste is based on European and US trends. Is this a hangover from the colonial days? It’s about time we started forging our own identity, and being proud of it. All eyes are on Africa at the moment while the other markets look for something new, but we continually shy away from things African and wait for foreign designers and consultants to show us how it’s done. Stand up, Africa!” Exactly…
Source: Animal Farm