The AA Bamboo Lab is an autotelic research programme of the AA Visiting School which explores the fusion of highly advanced computational design software and sustainable natural lightweight materials, to spawn new architectural opportunities.
Working with Haiti as our primary landscape, this design and construction laboratory looks at the application of these new syntheses beyond architecture, to ecological restoration, social development, material infrastructure and the latent creativity these global challenges provide. Nowhere does a fusion of cutting edge computer software and sustainable lightweight materials apply more than Haiti, a country ravaged by deforestation and a lack economic mobility which produces inadequate structures for such a climatically and seismically vulnerable situation. Add to this a powerful architectural history, this country can offer so much to the field of contemporary sustainable architectural research. With a vast array of bamboo species available to test new material systems and structural opportunities, to parametric software analysing topography to optimise reforestation strategies, we continue to conduct pioneering sustainable architectural research whilst symbiotically providing long term strategies to benefit to the Haiti’s ecology and knowledge economy.
More information at: Haiti.aaschool.ac.uk
In Myanmar, we will be looking to use these tools to design the campus of an architecture school. As the Myanmar economy continues to expand, we will ask how architecture needs to respond to the demands of a developing economy in a sustainable way, optimizing the utilization of local grown materials. The critical response to these globally relevant questions, will be rooted in the proposed design output, for a 3.5-acre site. It is intended that this output will subsequently be built. A full range of the Architect’s responsibilities will be demanded from, and questioned by participants, including: economics/supply chain, education, environmental, and cultural considerations in the development of this new architecture school. With sustainability at the core of the proposed teaching program, bamboo will play a strategic and important physical, economic and cultural role in the future School of Architecture.
More information at: Myanmar.aaschool.ac.uk