18th to 22nd of August 2008


On Bamboo 08 was organised by Johan Granberg and hosted by The Department of Architecture and Building at The University of Technology of Papua New Guinea. The workshop was part of Unitech's annual Master Class, an event where two hundred Building and Architecture students from all the levels of the curriculum are focused on a mutual topic. Over five days a group of international artists, architects and designers worked closely with the local students to produce ten pavilions/ structures on the grounds of the Unitech campus.

The aim of the event was to explore the possibilities of bamboo's architectonic, artistic and structural qualities. With a growth rate of up to three to four feet per day, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet. This together with its structural and aesthetic qualities makes bamboo a material of great interest for sustainable solutions for the future. Bamboo is native to PNG and is important in vernacular architecture. With this extensive tradition as a platform, the idea of the workshop was to explore new and innovative uses for the material. The week took the form of an ongoing building workshop where the final built result was regarded as a ‘three dimensional conference paper'.

The Melanesian students' vast experience and knowledge of bamboo and their connection with traditional and tribal customs were combined with the design expertise brought in by international studio leaders to provide a rich exchange of ideas. The completed structures not only challenged ideas of bamboos use and application in the building process but more importantly exposed the potentials that abound when traditional culture meets a modern sensibility to create a positive outcome.

For a detailed description of the project and individual pavilions, click on the links below:

On Bamboo Roger Paulsen Christina Tubman
Luke Pendergast Martin Fowler Rochus Hinkel
Campbell Drake Matthew Hughes Anthony Fryatt
Ross McLeod Johan Granberg John Andrews