rethinking bamboo at the first beijing international design triennial
original content
sep 06, 2011
rethinking bamboo at the first beijing international design triennial


‘bamgoo’ bamboo electric car, developed by kyoto university, on exhibition during beijing design week’s design triennial in the show ‘rethinking bamboo’

the first annual beijing international design triennial takes place this september 26th through october 17th,
coinciding with beijing design week 2011. the triennial is divided into five themed exhibitions of works
from around the globe, each of which is planned jointly by an international and a chinese curator under the general
theme of ‘good design’: creative junctions, rethinking bamboo, reason design emotion, good guys, and what if.

from clothing to bicycles to motor vehicles to handbags to structures, ‘rethinking bamboo’ presents unconventional uses
of the material. harvested sustainably, with natural antibiotic properties, bamboo is strong enough to be used for furniture
and structural pieces, while its fiber is utilizable in a host of other products.


closer view

the ‘bamgoo’ electric car, developed in through kyoto university‘s EV project, features a body whose exterior
is composed entirely of bamboo. the vehicle adapts the traditional craft technique ‘henso’ to hundreds of cut bamboo filaments,
whose flexibility enables the craft’s streamlined shape, and whose softness actually causes the car body to deform in the event of collision.

‘bamgoo’ is intended for low speed, tourist use, but can attain a maximum of 50km/hr.


watch a demonstration of ‘bamgoo’ in use


bamboo concept car by frank rinderknecht and james rizzi for rinspeed

the bamboo concept car was developed by swiss vehicle designer frank rinderknecht and new york pop artist james rizzi
for rinspeed. the fabric utilized in the vehicle’s interior is composed of woven bamboo, and the car itself is designed to echo a sense of nature.


interior view; all fabric is composed of woven bamboo fiber


‘buddha’s belly bike’ by englebert chan of kawayantech

created by visual artist englebert chan of philippines bamboo design studio kawayantech, ‘buddha’s belly bamboo bike’
is a one-off bicycle model designed to showcase the versatility of bamboo as a structural material.
utilizing the typically ornamental plant of buddha’s belly bamboo, the cruiser-style bike retains some of the form
of the original plant in its design.


‘bamboo bike handlebar’ by englebert chan

englebert chan has also designed the ‘bamboo bike handlebar’. the piece takes an unconventional approach
to bamboo processing, cutting the material into thin slats and laminating it together.


‘kids bamboo pushbike’ by eric cadiz of kawayantech

designed by kawayantech artist eric cadiz, ‘kids bamboo pushbike’ is composed of bamboo, with a pedal-less design
that encourages children to push along with their feet. the bicycles are produced by residents of a filipino gawad kalinga community
(a foundation designed to reduce poverty), creating employment opportunities for them. cadiz has also created a bamboo-based
electric bike, the ‘electric eric‘.

read more about the ‘bamboo bicycle’ by british designer ross lovegrove, first on exhibition
during milan design week 2009 and now included in the ‘rethinking bamboo’ show.

from september 26th through october 3rd, 2011, designers and thinkers from across the world gather in beijing, china
for the first annual beijing design week and beijing international design triennial. exhibitions, conferences, workshops
and lectures across the city address the theme of ‘design beijing – good design’ for the nine-day event,
which looks to transform the ubiquity of ‘made in china’ to ‘designed in china’.

beijing design week is presented by the ministry of culture, ministry of education, the china federation of literary and art circles,
and the municipal government of beijing, in collaboration this year with tsinghua university.

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