Tom Tobia

I am a designer, and the founder of Makerversity, a making and learning space at Somerset House, London.

Additionally I work with people, groups, organisations and institutions to design and explore ideas for social change. In particular, I'm interested in alternative education, building resilient populations, digital manufacturing, technology, food and how they all interconnect.
+44 (0)7764 745 637



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World’s Largest Bee Hotel: Co-built habitat at Barking Riverside

imageA Guinness World Record for the biggest man-made bee habitat in the world.




imageDespite being named the Thames View estate, it is not easy for the residents of this corner of Barking to access the river. To help improve this, we teamed up with The London Wildlife Trust teamed up to design and co-build the world’s largest bee hotel on the banks of the Thames. We enlisted the help of over one hundred local volunteers of all ages, shapes and sizes to create a structure from recycled scaffold planks, scavenged timber and over 20,000 hand cut pieces of bamboo.

The hotel was officially opened by author, Guardian columnist and bee expert Alison Benjamin in June 2011, and has opened up the waterfront to a new generation of visitors. There has been a large increase in the number of families making use of the footpath at this beautiful spot in recent months.

The structure itself is 13 metres long by 1.3 high and sits into the river bank, designed to fit the context of treeless, flat former marshland.

It has been certified by Guinness as an official World Record.


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