There are so many myths and stories of martial art practitioners borrowing from nature for different techniques. It’s unfortunate that we’ve waited this long to borrow from one of nature’s greatest engineers. If you think about it, you’ll recognise that a calculator is one of the key pieces of equipment for an engineer—among other occupations—yet those calculators look nothing like what you would see from nature.
At least until Paris-based designer Alexandre Touguet was inspired by the engineering genius of the bee for his take on the traditional calculator—the Honeycomb Calculator.
The Honeycomb Calculator borrows the design of a beehive for its keys and numbers. Arrayed in rows of hexagons, the calculator displays its numerical and function keys in neat rows and columns. The calculator doesn’t just look natural, it’s also very elegant and clever. The display uses the classic LCD layout, and thanks to the design, the display is easily readable in any light.
You’ll find all the basic functionality that you’ve come to rely on from your calculator. Because of the hexagon layout, there’s no wasted space in and around the keys; rather, the whole face of the calculator is maximised. The number keys are left flat, but the function keys have a depression to help differentiate them from the numbers.
The concept was part of an Instagram design contest. Touguet explains, “I got into the game and I imagined this desktop calculator with the most common functions. Honeycomb is a calculator dedicated to the general public with a new design that reminds how intelligent bees are!” Touguet also hopes that the honeycomb design will bring attention to the plight of bees.
Touguet feels that bees are “the pillar of the ecosystem and must be preserved at all costs.” Hopefully this design becomes real and achieves its purpose of educating on the role of bees in our ecosystem.