Riding the bamboo wave – Coachella Music and arts festival

Riding the bamboo wave – Coachella Music and arts festival

In 2008  designer Gerard Minakawa (known to most as G) was approached about making a large bamboo installation at Coachella Music Festival. The Art Director at the time, Phillip Blaine put it simply, saying “We want big beautiful and bamboo”. Gerard was getting established with his business, Bamboo DNA and I was just a few

Reconstructing disaster response

Reconstructing disaster response

Resilience and Regeneration Recently I was in a meeting with an aid organization to strategize their support for communities strategy following the devastation in the Philippines.  The aid group has members in the Philippines who were looking to receive updated training in natural materials and new options to support local resilience.  The problem, it can

Biocentric standards for development

It’s come down to the line, by the time the UN is publishing documents about the human effect on global warming, its already too late. Check out the New intergovernmental report out yesterday Climate Change 2014:Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.   We built a system that has rewarded extraction and profit as near sighted solutions to improving our

Green building what?

For all the hoopla, I have to say I’m still waiting for the green building movement to do something seriously spectacular. Sure we can play around with creature comforts and operating impacts by correcting building efficiency. However, until we address the fundamental problems associated with the construction industries destructive nature, we are pretending to make

Bamboo and Earth Youth Center, Cambodia

Bamboo and Earth Youth Center, Cambodia

An alchemy of bamboo and earthen building Kouk Khleang Youth Center is located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The youth center is be operated by two Cambodian organizations Cambodian Volunteers for Society (CVS) and Khmer Kampuchea Krom for Human Rights and Development Association (KKKHRDA). Construction of the center was finished in September 2013. Designed by Komitu

Earth floors saving lives in Rwanda

Earth floors saving lives in Rwanda

Earth floors Its as simple as the dirt underneath our feet. Thats the idea behind a project started by a group of students at Stanford University. The Project aims to address health concerns and improve the quality life for families throughout Rwanda. The concept is simple enough, sealed floors in homes can help reduce the

Oscar Hidalgo Lopez- The Godfather of Bamboo

Oscar Hidalgo Lopez- The Godfather of Bamboo

Bamboo This interview was conducted in 2007 by Kevin Rowell on the terrace of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. At the time Oscar was visiting the U.S. on a Book release tour for “Bamboo, Gift of the Gods”. In this casual interview between friends, Oscar discusses uses of bamboo, implication in international markets and

SEQUELAE OF EFFICIENCY

SEQUELAE OF EFFICIENCY

Courage is the balance between fear and recklessness. Equanimity stands to soothe  our craving and aversions. In our world of polarity, resilience holds the opposite pole from efficiency. As the industrial revolution brought forward unprecedented efficient ways to our daily life, it certainly left us with many vulnerabilities across many disciplines funneling into a weaker

One straw bale revolution

One straw bale revolution

Flash back: Sept 2010 -Haiti -By Kevin Rowell Veering the front wheel of my 125cc Chinese made Haodjin Motorcycle through pot hole filled streets of Port au Prince Haiti is risky. You become complacent in the daily routine,  until the nudge from a swerving pickup truck taxi also known as a Tap Tap reminds you of

Earthen building code

Earthen building code

One of the most used building materials on earth, the soil beneath our feet may have become the victim of prejudice in recent history. For those of us interested in this fad of building out of local materials it can seam like we are either pioneering the new green edge or fostering a renaissance. In

Rocket mass heaters: The dogsled chronicles P.1

Rocket mass heaters: The dogsled chronicles P.1

By. Leslie Jackson Now that spring is upon us and the wind doesn’t sing through my leaky poor man’s craftsman bungalow, the days lengthen, and the sun shines even more, you’d think this Californian would relax back into her favorite ripped-up Blondie tee shirt and enjoy the hiking trails. But instead, I am packing my camera

David Brower – Earthen Plaster

David Brower – Earthen Plaster

This plaster for the David Brower Center’s Reception area was designed by: Marisha Farnsworth

Bamboo sculpture

Bamboo sculpture

Kevin Rowell: Interactive Bamboo Sculpture – Project Tutorial (2013) The Natural Builder 2 pages (3.5MB) “Created as a public installation for the Living Word festival in Oakland, California. The installation starts with bamboo splits, a box of gloves and some hand tools. It is only after the arrival of groups of participants that the form

Ilustrated Bamboo Manual

Ilustrated Bamboo Manual

Kevin Rowell: Illustrated Bamboo Manual V.1 (February 2010) In Collaboration with Architecture for humanity, American Bamboo Society, Kleiwerks International, The Natural Builders. 11 pages (2.6MB)

Material Profile – Earth

Material Profile – Earth

Kevin Rowell: Material Profile – Earth (February 2010) The Natural Builder 2 pages (332.6kb) “Earth has been an important traditional material throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe and parts of Asia for thousands of years, and is used in a great variety of ways. Recently, the alternative building movement has developed a deeper technical understanding of

Material Profile – Bamboo

Material Profile – Bamboo

The over 1200 species of bamboo now cataloged, all have one thing in common—they are all grasses. Each plant spreads itself through the soil by means of an intricate web of roots, also called the rhizome.

Bamboo Emergency Structures

Bamboo Emergency Structures

Created as a protype rapid deploment structure for emergency response, this single sheet instructional guide can be easily printed and included in a tarpulin packaging in regions where bamboo grows readily, optimising material transportation in fast response situations.

Colombian Building Code

Colombian Building Code

Text from the Colombian building standards including the use of wood and Bamboo in construction. (in Spanish)

Bamboo Building Essentials

Bamboo Building Essentials

Darrel Deboer and Megan Groth: Bamboo building essentials ( 2010) Deboer Architects

Straw Clay –

Placing straw clay into walls   Straw clay has been used for thousands of years, though formulations and techniques vary. This article covers some of the techniques we have employed in projects at The natural Builders. We try where possible to reference relevant material as well. The most most commonly accepted installation in the United

Welcome to the workshop, keep it clean!

Hello and thank you for visiting, We are building an online educational experience that is fun, engaging and most importantly provides real world information on how natural materials can be used in construction today. Members will gain access to online instructional videos,  reference documents and materials briefs as well as being given the chance to