Houses made of grass
Elora Hardy’s Balinese village grandma was born in a bamboo bed, grew up in a bamboo house and her cremation pyre was made out of bamboo. Across Asia bamboo is everything from chopsticks to skyscraper scaffolding. It has been used in daily life for tens of thousands of years.
With the exception of a few 2000-year-old Chinese books, just about everything that was ever made out of bamboo is gone. Unprotected bamboo weathers and untreated bamboo gets eaten to dust.
Most people think they couldn’t be poor enough or rural enough or dirty enough to actually want to live in a bamboo house…
While bamboo has been around forever, Elora’s team of designers and master craftsmen at Ibuku have found a whole new language for it. They’ve invented their own rules. And those rules are basic: watch the sun, avoid the rain, work with gravity, work with the contours of the land and the skills of their people.
“We ask the bamboo, ‘Bamboo what are you good at? What do you want to be?’” The Bamboo replies, ‘Respect me, protect me from water and make the most of my quirks.”
“What we get to do is make beauty, value and connection out of a weed that grows in our back yard. These buildings are a promise to the kids, they promise abundance– they inspire innovation,” says Elora.
Four years ago Elora and her team had no idea that any of what they have built was possible. They chose one humble material and they built a whole world.