Bambu: Design innovation inspired by Nature
- PRIYABRATA RAUTRAY
- AVIK ROY
‘A design inspired by nature and conceived by material exploration’
Nature as a designer over the vast evolutionary period has achieved fluid and dynamic forms which are aesthetically pleasing as well as structurally robust designs. Whereas furniture is generally considered as a static and rigid accessory in our living space.
We as designers tried to bridge this gap by taking inspirations from nature and transforming it into a tangible form of utility. The blooming of a flower to create a form that transfers the load to the stalk, formed the basis of our concept. The curves of the petals gave us the idea of bending the bamboo slivers. During various design iterations and material explorations a stable form was derived where the bent slivers of bamboo are connected to the central post/node without any hardware or adhesives.
We took inspiration from spider‘s spiral orb web pattern, to derive our weaving design for the seat. The bamboo slivers became the main load carrying members with jute fibres interlaced between them to create a comfortable seat.
•BAMBOO (Type of bamboo used: Bambusa Balcooa)
With growing concern about the environment, we consciously decided that our product should be sustainable and completely bio-degradable at the end of its life cycle.
Bamboo as a material is least explored and has a lot of potential to become a material of the future with the following advantages:
•Highly sustainable and biodegradable
•High tensile strength along the grains
•Locally and easily available
•Sustains local craftsmen and generates employment
•Ease of working
Similarly, Jute is also a fast growing indigenous fibre of the Indian subcontinent with the following advantages:
•Sustainable and bio-degradable
•Cheapest vegetable fibre
•High tensile strength
•Fast growing plant and hence easily available raw material
•The bamboo piece is carefully selected to have uniform thickness throughout its length
•It is chemically cured for 2-3 days in borax solution to prevent any fungal or insect attack
•The length of the curved slivers for the stool was derived from the drawings and bamboo was split accordingly on both sides keeping the central node intact.
•Wet jute ropes were tied at the initial part of the slivers to prevent further splitting of the bamboo.
•By using a blow torch, the individual slivers were heated to make the fibres soft enough to bend into the desired shape.
•These curved arms were then cooled immediately with cold water to fix them at the desired position and shape.
•Using drill machine and chisels, grooves were carved out in the central post and the bent slivers were fixed to the final position by using a tongue and groove detail.
•The final weaving on the top of the stool was done using naturally dyed jute to create a comfortable seating.
•The jutes fibres can have multiple colour iterations and weave patterns to create unique and contemporary furniture.