HIVES, 2400 B.C.E. – 1852 C.E. – out of print


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  • Rvb Books
  • 2020
  • 448 pages, 375 photogtaphs
  • French / English
  • Softcover
  • 15.5 × 11 × 2.5 cm

Since the birth of the modern beehive in 1852, structural innovation in hive construction has entered a dormant period. By favouring the standardised box hive, beekeeping turns its back on 4,400 years of architectural diversity. This little book focuses on that period of history prior to homogenisation, drawing from as far back as 2400 BCE. By rejecting a fixed narrative, linearity makes way for polymorphism, introducing graphic design, photography and writing to retell the story of beehives. The 375 images offer a glimpse into this proliferous history of architecture for non-humans.

This book is a fragment of an ongoing and open-ended research project titled “Apian” which uses theoretical, iconographic and ethnographic methods to research on the relationship between bees and humans.

• Essay written by Ellen Lapper and Aladin Borioli
• Graphic design by Nicolas Polli
• Co published with Images Vevey
• With support from Pro Helvetia