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Building with Bamboo

Ibuku’s creative director Elora Hardy tells Michele Koh Morollo about her vision for green homes and education – with bamboo.

Building with Bamboo


January 2nd, 2012

Best known for the creation of award-winning, eco-friendly bamboo buildings in Bali, Indonesia, Ibuku is a design team whose mission is an authentic relationship with nature. Its creative director Elora Hardy sheds light on her material of choice.

Ibuku’s creative director Elora Hardy

Tell us about your affinity for Bali and bamboo?

I spent the first 14 years of my life in Bali, and the next 14 years in the United States. In 2010, I left my role as the sole print designer at Donna Karan International in New York and returned to Bali. Inspired by the culture and landscape, I made a commitment to help Balinese artisans cultivate their skills with the goal of making Bali the global centre for bamboo building and innovation. Our intention is that over the next 5 years bamboo will become highly desirable and accessible to both the highest and lowest socioeconomic levels.

In a nutshell, tell us about Green School and Green Village and your role in these projects?

Green School teaches a modern curriculum layered with environmental education. Along with traditional subjects, children learn about environmental practices, renewable energy, aquaculture and organic farming through direct interaction with their surroundings. In this way, not only will they do well in life, they will also expand their global awareness and become responsible, eco-conscious citizens. Green village is a planned residential community set along the Ayung River, a short distance from Green School and built on design concepts and sustainable principles established by the artisans and craftsmen that built Green School. My role is to develop the overall structural and interior design for these two projects.

What is it about bamboo that makes it such an eco-friendly construction material?

It allows us to build lightly on the land with a clear conscience. Bamboo is a strong, beautiful and flexible material with a short growth cycle. It grows plentifully in clumps and once established, these clumps grow a new generation of shoots each year. Bamboo requires little nurturing and few resources. If not harvested, a pole will lose density and disintegrate within 10 years, making room for younger generations and releasing the sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere. Harvesting and building long-term bamboo structures sequesters carbon and is extremely beneficial to the environment.


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