Imagineer, with independent artistic director Orit Azaz, present an ambitious public art project, Imagine Bamboo.
Artists, designers, engineers and communities from across the UK and internationally, are coming together to explore the potential of bamboo – widely held to be the future sustainable building material for the planet - find out more.
Imagine Bamboo evolved from Bridge, a major outdoor arts project that took place 2018-2021, which brought together people who wouldn’t normally meet.
In 2021 we asked ourselves: could we invite people to design and build freestanding outdoor structures that could then combine to create one giant installation?
We set out on a period of research and development where we met Neil Thomas, co-director of award-winning structural engineering company Atelier One, who explained the importance of bamboo in relation to sustainability and the climate crisis.
Bamboo grows across the globe, including in the UK and Europe, and is widely held by a growing network of engineers, architects and activists to be ‘the future sustainable building material for the planet’. This is because it is a grass rather than a tree. It grows to full height and steel-comparable strength in 4 years, rather than 44 like a tree, and it continues to grow back after harvest. This makes its carbon capture capacity immense.
We were excited by the potential to collaborate with people from across the world to exchange skills and ideas and create beautiful strong lightweight structures at a variety of scales.
With support from Arts Council England, Birmingham 2022 Festival and the British Council, Imagineer set out on an adventure with partners from across the globe. We called our initial explorations Bridge2Bamboo and focused on R&D with UK-grown borinda bamboo.
During 2022 we continued R&D work with partners Liverpool City Region, Wye Valley River Festival and Appetite in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, exploring the potential for bamboo as an inspiring material for sustainable design. Bridge2Bamboo evolved to Imagine Bamboo.
Between 1-4 July 2022, people came together for the Imagine Bamboo Summit in Birmingham - a weekend festival where we explored extraordinary bamboo structures, stories and circus performances, with audiences, artists and experts from across the world.
In 2023, we extend our bamboo creative exploration across the UK with Imagine Bamboo is Everywhere. We are working on an epic bamboo collaboration across Liverpool City Region, exploring bamboo circus R&D with NoFit State Circus, and leading bamboo builds in the communities of Nuneaten and Bedworth.
Follow our story on social media and join in the conversation with #ImagineBamboo.