Harnessing the Power of Bamboo
April 18, 2021
Founded by Elora Hardy in 2010, IBUKU is a pioneering eco-design studio known for creating towering, sculptural bamboo structures that gently rest in the contours of Bali’s forested landscape.
This spring, we partnered with Elora to create a video essay that explores the process and ethos behind sustainable bamboo design:
The origins of IBUKU lie in the belief that bamboo can change the way we build, thanks to its flexible form and remarkable strength. Bamboo is one of the most environmentally conscientious building materials conceivable, with a compressive force of concrete and a strength-to-weight ratio of steel. It is powerful, graceful and uniquely versatile.
Throughout their process, the IBUKU team operates in harmony with the region’s natural ecosystem, working with carefully selected bamboo timber that has been sourced from the river valleys and mountains around the islands of Bali and Java. In order to maintain the resource, they harvest only from mature bamboo clumps, which continue to grow a new generation of shoots the following year.
Since 2010, the IBUKU team has designed over 100 structures, employing a radical design language that evokes the curvilinear lines of living bamboo cane. Their work is intricate yet organic, marked by petal-shaped roofs, hand-woven towers and open-air layouts that bring in the outdoors.
Representing a new genre of sustainable architecture, IBUKU designs speak to the limitless potential of bamboo artisanship — an eco-industry that relies on the continued sowing, cultivation and harvesting of bamboo in rural communities. As such, their vision resonates deeply with our own Bamboo Collection, which to-date has sowed over 1.3 million bamboo seedlings in rural Bali. We are reminded that each seedling has the potential to one day be transformed into a magical, livable, low-impact structure —by the IBUKU team or by the next generation of artisans and architects. This is the nature of circular design: we are always collaborating, with one another and with our earth.