The project harnesses the unique behaviors of Eurasian Beavers to restore wetlands and address environmental challenges. The comprehensive toolkit, guided by a co-design strategy with beavers, emphasizes minimalistic, biodegradable materials and on-site 3D printing. It envisions a future where their project contributes to reducing desertification and fostering biodiversity.

However, looking into history, we traced that beavers were used for their pelt and fur, introducing regional and transatlantic trade. By 1900, extensive beaver hunting led to their near extinction in Europe, From 1950, European countries, starting with Sweden, Latvia, and Norway, enacted laws to reintroduce beavers. Currently, Castor Fiber is a protected species with successfully reestablished populations across Europe, thanks to regulations and rewilding efforts. 

The reason why we are interested in Beavers is because of their behaviors. Beavers are one of the few animals that alter their environment in order to inhabit it. By building lodges, in which they can reside through the day and hide from predators, and dams, which contain the water streams. They usually pick areas with low water current streams.  As these two structures gradually modify the surrounding environment, they establish a micro-ecosystem and microclimate. The water management emerging by the wetland establishment, not only prevents floods by regulating water release but also acts as a natural barrier to wildfires, inhibiting their spread.
In addition, the reservoirs of water that beaver dams create also increase riparian habitat, reduce stream temperatures, restore stream complexity, capture sediment, and store large amounts  of water underground in wetland ‘sponges’ that surround beaver colonies. This benefits many fish, birds, amphibians, plants and people that make up the entire ecosystem.

Considering the evolution of wildfire, drought, and flooding events, especially in southern Europe, over the last 50 years, the beaver’s activities emerge as potential contributors to mitigating these challenges, influenced by climate change, ecosystem health, and human activities.

After examining different locations of beaver action and wetland creation in our “Theater of Operations” diagram, we tried to monitor their results, under different context.
It is observed that beaver action when affecting the arctic can result in permafrost thawing, as seen in the arctic tundra already. 
However, since the desertification line in Europe keeps moving to the north, we believe the water reintroduction and maintenance by wetlands can aid areas that are lead to drought. Therefore we aim to develop a proposal that can be applicable, always following the special conditions, climate and geography of a “topos”, starting from this zone and moving to the European south, in order to achieve a smooth implementation and transition strategy.

This begins by identifying areas experiencing drought and a lack of biodiversity. These areas need to have at least one water resource and the potential for agriculture. Then, achieving Habitual Modification, by Introducing beavers at the right wetland formation stage, and providing initial support, ensuring systematic reforestation and restoration of wetlands. Finally by Collaborative Community Involvement. This can be achieved by encouraging collaboration between local volunteers, activists, schools and fabrication studios to ensure the success of the project and engage in wetland restoration.

Our approach revolves around developing a comprehensive toolkit, comprising five distinct components. This toolkit aims to facilitate the reintroduction of beavers in the abovementioned problematic areas, thereby harnessing the benefits of wetlands.
Our design philosophy is intentionally minimal, because our animal is an engineer and designer by nature. We provide basic structures and manage their territory, empowering the beaver to work on their own.

The development of the toolkit is based on some features that we can find throughout the tools. These are related to the materiality, geometry and fabrication techniques used for each component.

So, when it comes to materiality we rely on the use of biodegradable materials that will disintegrate eventually. In addition, for the fabrication of some of our tools, we envision using materials such as earth and agricultural waste. This leaves space to nature and animals to decide how to use these materials, minimizing risks of animal injury and the need for maintenance and intervention by humans. One aspect of the materials we use that is crucial for us, is their ability to be fabricated on site, adjusting to the needs of each landscape. Therefore, we speculate that employing the 3D-printing technique for crafting the skeletons of our tools and subsequently integrating additional natural components onto them represents the most feasible approach.

As it comes to geometry, our scope is to create structures that blend with the natural environment, causing less distraction to the animals. The first thing that we have to pay attention to is the components scale. This has to correspond to the animal measurements, or to its usual surroundings. We achieve this by imitating structures that are seen in the natural environment. The second part of our approach is connected to the porosity level of our structures. This enables nature to interact and intervene, easing the blending process.

Concurrently, we posit the significance of engaging volunteers in the fabrication process of the toolkit series. By actively contributing to its creation, they are likely to develop a heightened sense of concern for their natural surroundings. 

The Water Tower, the toolkit’s largest structure, is typically the first activated. It features two basins—one directly moisturizing the soil and another connecting to the green passage via pipes. Both basins are 3D printed on-site using hempcrete for durability and resistance to beaver damage. Hemp textile nets capture humidity. With a curved geometry rising to two meters and a total height of 7.85 meters, it prevents beaver climbing and ensures effective humidity capture above surrounding trees.

The artificial dam expedites wetland creation by controlling water flow. Inspired by beaver dams, it features modular, triangular sections for quick implementation and adjustments to varying river widths. The intentional sectional design balances porosity, allowing water flow without complete obstruction. Hempcrete connecting panels ensure structural integrity and align with sustainability goals.

The floating food gardens are designed for beavers and other small semi-aquatic animals. They provide a sustainable and accessible source of food for the targeted wildlife, fostering a harmonious ecosystem within the stream. Divided into several parts, the main section consists of a hard cork raft connected to buoys for floating capacity. This raft is securely anchored to the riverbed with ropes and foundation, allowing controlled movement without drifting away. The top section features a circular opening with porous membranes and a hydrogel layer infused with nutrients, creating an aquaponic system for plant growth. 
The shape of the raft’s edges facilitates easy climbing for beavers.

The Territory management limits beaver actions using a sponge with the scent of beaver’s predators.  The main body is made of breathable and biodegradable hard cork and repels beavers from agricultural or urban areas. The green passage connects the area we intervene with the water towers and in some specific ends it connects with the territory management devices. These pipes can be modified per the terrain of each location, by changing the saltation, the height and even the curvature.
Also they aid forestation with a sponge that can capture and release moisture, a hydrogel layer for seed growth, a protective layer, and lastly a porous pipe for plant growth restraint.

Our project harnesses the capabilities of Eurasian Beavers as nature’s architects to address critical challenges in wetland restoration. Through various strategies, we aspire to create a harmonious ecosystem that benefits both the environment and its inhabitants.