Redefining Design Processes: The Rabbit Hutch

The Design process that humans use have many areas in need of improvement. Take for instance the rabbit hutch. In Texas, we have high heat and winds around Dallas-Fort Worth. The rabbit hutch is made with a box with some wire to hold them in and allow their manure to drop. From what we know about heat, it rises. The body temperature of this little mammal runs around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. WIth heat rising, this causes them to gasp for air and struggle to survive. Further complications are a decrease in fertility, increase in maintenance and infrastructure to cool down the bunnies, and a high risk of losing rabbits to the heat.

Rethinking the Design of the Hutch
For a few months, I’ve been thinking about underground and reading up on what’s available on the interwebs. There are people who have had success in various regions around the world but I haven’t found anybody experimenting with this in Texas. Recently, I’ve been thinking of another opportunity.

Water as a common element has a high specific heat (4.186 joule/gram °C). In other words, it helps to regulate the temperature. If a rabbit hutch could be made underwater, this would greatly reduce the infrastructure and labor involved in raising rabbits. The design so far is fairly simple. Cut out a hole in a barrel, insert a tube that is big enough for the rabbit to crawl into, and seal the edges around the hole where the tube goes in. The tube must be able to withstand the pressure of water crushing it and allow enough crawl space for the animal to go inside. Once the edges are sealed, fill the barrel with water and see how much water is needed to maintain a comfortable environment for the bunnies.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.31.02 PMDesign Methodologies
As far as designing homes for other animals, I believe that people recreate homes they see as comfortable and fitting. It’s stupid and selfish. We need to put ourselves in the shoes of these animals if we are to raise them and care for them. To do that requires careful observation and proper analysis to determine the key pieces of information to make a design appropriate for any living organism.