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Though “putting out the welcome mat to other species remains a curiously radical concept,” wrote MacKinnon, it fits a Zeitgeist of enthusiasm for urban ecology and wildlife, of celebrating nature’s possibilities not only in obviously nature-y places but also in our midst. It’s also practical. After all, even when people build without thinking of animals, the critters still come: house sparrows dwell in traffic lights, raccoons in chimneys, rats and pigeons just about everywhere. So why not design with them in mind?

In doing so, habitecture offers an important corrective to other twenty-first-century environmental trends. Even as nature-mindedness goes mainstream, discussions about sustainability largely focus on renewable energy and recycling and tend to overlook animals. Joyce Hwang, an architect at the University of Buffalo and designer of bird- and bat-sheltering habitat walls, calls that habit a “gap in the logic of sustainability.”

Check out the full article on Habitecture by Brandon Keim here (and thanks Brandon for the interview!).