daniel ma

yi zhang:A TV FOR YOUR CAT

 Yi Zhang is Chinese for “one sheet” referring to the sheets of acrylic our studio had stockpiled before the pandemic. Our concept was to design a window bird feeder that could be easily mass produced by forming the main body out of a single continuous sheet of acrylic.

Our Goal

By focusing on using a continuous piece of acrylic to form our design, we can minimize waste, and pioneer the forms that define the term bird feeder.

our Target

We focused the design of our cat entertainment system to attract Northern Cardinals.

What are our constraints?

Initial Ideation


First, we needed to consider user needs, manufacturing feasibility, and business viability. Our design would need to attract bird and human users with a good experience, appearance, and other features, be designed in a way that can be mass manufactured, and cost effective.


Our Findings on Cardinals helped to define the properties of our feeder. The feeder should be a bright color, with a sufficiently thick curve and ergonomically positioned feeder.

How can we balance form and function?


Sketching Proposals

I focused on manipulating a single sheet, to see what forms could be made by bending, cutting, and folding.

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Final Idea

I went off of one of the slanted ideas and decided to fold and cut the acrylic to provide both structure and protection. a flatter design will help the suction cups to hold it up.

what dimensions fit best?



I modeled both the feeder and the tray in solidworks and assembled them. Based on measurements of windows on my house, the back is 14 inches by 10.5 inches. This will be made with acrylic


Food Tray

The tray slides out of the right side and has a notched handle for removal. The distance between the tray and the grip bar on the feeder is .94 inches to 3.04 inches. This will be made of hard plastic in a bright color.