Sarah Lewis  | D105

Project Statement 

“Design a TV for your cat” or for any other interested bird watcher! This project required a window mounted bird feeder, to allow close up views of birds while staying inside.     

Something I focused on while designing potential bird feeders, was natural beauty elements to reflect what is commonly viewed from a window. 


To being research t make the most effective bird feeder, I began with what birds are attracted to. First and foremost, food. That led me to discovering which types of feeders hold which type of bird seed, and from there what type of birds are attracted to seed types. I was also initially interested in color, an how that affected bird’s likeliness to visit a feeder. Along the way I learned some important tips about how to set and place a new bird feeder so it is most welcoming to curious birds. 


When this project was first assigned, as a class we began brainstorming how to move forward, while keeping important topics in mind such as; appearance, objectives, experience, and features. We also thought about: user needs/desires, manufacturing feasibility or constraints, and business viability. 


Simple Color Test

This is the first prototype I made. Created from 3 differently colored cups. Each cup was filled with the same amount of bird feed. White is known to signal danger, while the silver is to peak interest, and the red is known to attract birds.
Findings: Inconclusive for this feeder.
Discovered that when the birds can see the seeds through a clear container they are more likely to investigate.

For my bird seed I chose “Wagner’s Greatest Variety”. I chose this seed particularly because I was not focused on attracting a single species of birds, but many different types. I also liked this seed mix because it has black sunflower seed, peanuts, and corn, which all are very attractive for many types of birds. This seed also pairs well with the tube feeder which is the type of feeder that I was initially investigating. 


3 Main Idea Concepts

Each idea derives from a different type of feeder, because I did not want to zero in on one feeder type yet.  I can pull and reuse ideas from each of these proposals for my future bird feeder. 

The Suet feeder never really attracted me when it comes to being beautiful, so I decided to make it fun. Here you can create your own block from a variety of designs. This is likely to do well for sales because people will need to buy more pieces to create their personal town block. 

The Tube Feeder is one of my favorite ideas. I created interchangeable parts for the feeder to make it more customized and personal. This includes the perches as well as the direction of the seed ports. 

The hopper feeder is designed to look similar to ones home. I thought the user would be able to design their own to reflect their home, as they change color of the roof and house walls. I also liked the hopper system to see the birds jump for their food. 

Line Study & Inspiration

I completed a line study because I was now thinking to make my feeder sculptural. I wanted the feeder to look elegant and natural because it was going to be sitting close to a window that’s looking out at nature. I thought that lines could be elegant as well as supportive for a feeder. I in particular was attracted to metal lined sculptures. 

This video study is based off of Kirigami. A special type of cut and folding of a sheet of material. Slits and cuts are made without removing any material, and then once bent or lifted, the once flat sheet is given another dimension. 

This is how I would like to make my feeder. With a flat piece of sheet metal I could laser cut the sheet and then bend it around a plastic tube which would hold the feed. This metal would be sculptural and also function as perches for the birds, and the slits would allow the birds to see and discover the feed.