I was on a mission to build some sturdy benches out of bamboo, and turned to my good friend Google for advice. Sadly my search for plans for a DIY challenged handyman were unsuccessful, but I did get to see some really cool bamboo furniture out there.
“Sustainable is a wide concept. I chose to deal with it in the context of raw material, living environment, localism, and sustainable system.
The bamboo plant is renewed very quickly, therefore energetically efficient, with high mechanical strength and durability to weather conditions. Bamboo has wide range of configurations as a raw material, from its raw form, through compressed plates to veneer processing.
I chose to use bamboo in its raw form. In this way, the processing is minimal as well as the invested energy, it can be 100% recycled and the out coming morphology creates a new micro-wild natural environment that can be situated in an urban, industrial and gray environment and revive it.”
While bamboo has its origins in Asia, this is a versatile and adaptable product that can be grown anywhere in the world, is fast growing and a sustainable natural product.
In Gal Ben-Arav’s vision, “….such a bench reflects a complete system that maintains itself through a life cycle that is built on three repeated main stages that preserve the sustainability values in a full manner:
– Growing bamboo – Establishment of a new agricultural industry, creating new economic opportunities, new sources of income and making the bamboo a local material that saves the need to import.
– Building a bench that integrates in the surrounding living environment in an energy-efficient manufacturing process.
– Recycling the raw material following weathering processes or vandalism that occurs frequently to street furniture. Used bamboo can be recycled to produce packaging or for many other purposes.”
My favorite bench is our featured image by Dutch designer Elena Goray. Using just four belts of stainless steel to keep the shape, no screws or glue was used in its construction. Bummer if it starts rolling away though.