Innovation That Matters

Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness | Photo source Courtesy of OPPO, London Design Festival

Designer weaves bamboo into strong, bendable building material

Architecture & Design

A bamboo-based material that is stronger than wood and more resistant to earthquakes

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Spotted: Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has created a new building material by weaving bamboo and carbon fibre. The resulting “bamboo ring” is stronger and more flexible than bamboo and could be more resistant to earthquakes, he says.

The new material is said to be 10 per cent stronger than natural bamboo wood but maintains the same atheistic appeal. This is important in Japan, where bamboo is a popular building material but lacks the strength to withstand extreme weather.

Kuma combined traditional bamboo with carbon fibre, creating a two-metre-diameter ring of strong, flexible material.

The strips of bamboo were made into rings and a layer of carbon fibre was glued on to add strength. The two materials were then fused together at Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo in cooperation with the technology brand OPPO. When the rings were weaved together, it created a doughnut shape that bends when force is applied to the ends.

The material was on display at the London Design Festival in September



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