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Title: Banjir Bamboo

Location: Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Dates: Friday 16th – Sunday 26th November 2018 (11 days)

  1. How can bamboo work in structures in areas prone to regular flooding?
  2. How can bamboo address the critical need for functional resilient housing in urban areas?
  3. How can we bridge the gap which has emerged between simulated bamboo structures using computer modelling, and the practicalities of bamboo construction?

The AAVS Bamboo Lab is a nomadic autotelic research programme of the AA Visiting School which explores the fusion of highly advanced computational design software and bamboo through design projects in geopolitical situations where bamboo can be a catalyst for resilient buildings, economic development and ecological restoration.

Parametric software now allows a material to be an active generator of design, with a high level of accuracy. However, the indeterminacy of the bamboo and construction practices in the less developed areas of the world, currently render this level of accuracy impotent. In this we ask, how we can bridge the gap which has emerged between simulated parametric computer modelling of non-conventional materials, and the realities of bamboo construction? As architects we can change the preconceptions of this sustainable material of the 21st century through spatial design and redefine the tectonics of bamboo construction.

In 2018, for the seventh outing, we collaborate with the Institut Teknologi Bandung and their advanced portfolio in this field. Our brief will search for practical systems for the flood zones of the southern Bandung area of Dayeuhkolot. The effects of flooding in urban areas of Java are however not due to nature, but man. As potent as the effects of climate change is the urban migration, in which the poorest are resettled to the flooded suburbs of new mega cities. Such cities are now sinking under the weight of ‘development’ with around 40% of Jakarta below sea level. Bamboo is a cheap, locally available sustainable earthquake resistant material, however cannot be exposed to water in a structure. Therefore, we ask, how can we successfully use bamboo in a flood zone?

Courses are divided between working with bamboo and working in the studio and our tools will span from machetes to Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. In learning parametric structural software, bamboo model making, and 1:1 scale construction of a bamboo structure, we ask participants to develop new innovative, experimental, permanent solutions. These can be joints, building systems or urban strategies for flooding, to provide affordability, practicality, comfort and beauty to their end users. Projects will be required to respect local culture and be able to engage in a practical way with the current local construction industry, available bamboo species and traditional craft.

 

Overview Text

The effects of flooding in urban areas of Java are however not nature but man. Rain has always fallen, typhoons have occurred and much more potent than the effects of climate change is man’s unmitigated agricultural planning. The poorest in society are resettled to the flooded suburbs of new mega cities. Such cities are now sinking under the weight of ‘development’ and the draining of underground aquifers. Around 40% of Jakarta, the largest city on Java, now lies below sea level. These issues are not themselves isolated to Java, the flooding in Neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and the effects of Typhoon Tembin in the Philippines have shown in 2017 the regional need for such design strategies.

‘Thinking global, acting local.’

Bamboo is a fast growing, sustainable lightweight source of construction material indigenous to Indonesia with a vernacular tradition of building with bamboo. Building on similar research in Haiti and Myanmar, for the seventh outing of the AAVS Bamboo Lab, we collaborate with the Institut Teknologi Bandung to create a unique learning environment of: physical model making; form finding through parametric structural engineering tools; bamboo craft and 1:1 scale bamboo construction. These will inspire a project designed to utilise bamboo in a primary structure, with local specificity to the southern Bandung area of Dayeuhkolot, which at a low ground level is prone to flooding. Typological research of a house which is designed to have a temporarily inoperable ground floor will be an important study we will carry out initially, as well as the wider socio-cultural and economic realities of the location we are working.

On the global scale we will ask ourselves how can we bridge the gap which has emerged between simulated bamboo structures using computer modelling, and the practicalities of bamboo construction? The brief for this course will look to add to the wider discourse in architectural design utilising bamboo with an initial immersion into the fundamentals of bamboo construction and pioneering research of Dr.-Ing. Andry Widyowijatnoko.

Typological research of a house which is designed to have an inoperable ground floor will be an important study we will carry out initially to understand our site. Therefore this will not be a course to design common ‘low-cost’ housing, because sadly, there are many alternatives for this purpose out there, often a consequence of which are subsequent new slums on unsuitable locations.

Bamboo as a construction material cannot be exposed to water, sunlight and must stand above the ground, so how can we build flood resilient housing, using bamboo within these criteria? Bamboo as a plant can help prevent the effects of flooding by absorbing ground water and stabilising potential landslides. With this in mind, can we plant to prevent flood and use this material to also build resilience into local communities too?

We ask participants to develop new innovative, experimental, permanent solutions which can be joints, building systems or urban strategies for flooding, providing affordability, practicality, comfort and beauty to their end users. As 57% of the Indonesian population reside in Java, this makes Java one of the worlds most crowded island. With almost 50% of the USA population living on just 1% of the land area, the need for safe strategies for housing and urban infrastructure become greatly required.

Projects will also be required to respect local culture and be able to engage in a practical way with the current local construction industry, available bamboo species and traditional craft.

 

The Course

Key aspects of the course curriculum:

  • Design Training and Architectural Design Brief
  • Bamboo Model Making
  • 1:1 bamboo construction
  • Cultural Events and Trips
  • Inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary team working
  • Bamboo Cutting
  • Construction Health and Safety
  • 3D Computer Modelling
  • Parametric modelling for architecture
  • Finite Element Analysis software
  • Bamboo material information
  • Lecture series relevant to the brief

The course is open to students, professionals and / or PhD candidates from a variety of backgrounds who are interest in the course, including those with a background in architecture, engineering and design and other related fields.