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Publisher and designer Franco Maria Ricci and his wife Laura have been passionate about bamboo since the Eighties and when they decided to build a maze on their property in Fontanellato near Parma, this hardy, versatile and fast-growing plant was the natural choice. Two hundred thousand plants from over 20 species on 8 acres brought Labirinto della Masone to life. As the Riccis discovered the many properties of bamboo, they sought to share them. In 2016, Under the Bamboo Tree was born, an event that includes conferences with international experts and expositions of products. The knowledge about the vast potentials of the species is spreading thanks to this initiative, which has become a yearly appointment. In 2018 the international design competition BambooRush, in collaboration with AIB, the Italian Bamboo Association, and the academic institution ISIA in Florence, has further enriched the event. Labirinto della Masone is a world unto itself, a world to discover. Almost by mistake we started with a little bush, a bamboo bush of a lake bamboo, which is a very elegant plant, in a Milano garden. From there, when Franco decided to build the largest maze in the world, we decided to use bamboo because Franco started when he was already 70 years old and he thought that unless he decided on a very generous, very quick-growing plant, he wouldn't have a chance of seeing the maze completed. What we want to achieve is to grow, to increase knowledge about bamboo, so with this event, we are now at the third year of Under the Bamboo Tree which is a line of an old song, maybe people don't know, but it's a Judy Garland song. We hope and we think we are actually doing it, letting people know more about bamboo. My experience with bamboo in this place started 3 years ago when Lorenzo Bar contacted me to try and organize with Laura Casalis Ricci and Franco Maria Ricci the first event to tell people about this place, it's a wonderful place, an amazing place, this is the biggest maze in the world made of bamboo, and no one knows this. And this seemed to be a perfect location to start a European center to spread knowledge about bamboo. So, we started to work and now we are here for the third year. I think this place is really amazing, when I learned about this place, I think 3 years ago, I couldn't believe that a place like this existed in Italy. For me it was a surprise and when I talked with friends and colleagues about it and showed them pictures, they were also completely intrigued about the idea of this place, it is amazing. I think the idea to have this labyrinth made in bamboo was a really nice idea and there is a lot of potential for this place, to work with bamboo as well. My experience with bamboo started in 2013, when I moved to China. I was an invited professor at the Hunan University, where I found a good friend of mine, professor Shao Yen, who is one of the first bamboo builders, so-called, in China and he transmitted his passion for this material to me, so as soon as I started working with them, I realized there was no framework in which to develop a solid bamboo theory. And we started working on that, so I brought in my experience that I developed here in Europe on several commissions, and they brought in their passion and several ideas on how to use bamboo for architectural purposes. My experience with bamboo was just with little things in bamboo, just little objects, but it was so elastic, so fantastic, so light, that I thought: what material do I have in my hands? And at that moment, I thought that it was an incredible material. Actually I already have 20 years of experience working with bamboo, I started in 1996 or 1997, making some furniture for my student apartment, and at that moment I realized that there was no technical information about bamboo, and I decided to do my thesis about structural resistance the Columbian species of Guadua and after that I just fell in love with the material and continued researching and researching during the last 20 years. Currently we are working on several experiments about the structural use of bamboo as a net system, a diffused system like this, and also about fibers, the way to use bamboo as a fiber because it is very resistant, without materials. With fibers of bamboo, I think we can have some very interesting nets and also structural nets that can also be used for structural purposes. Now I have set up a team of researchers with Luisa Morari, Lando Mentrasti, Lorenzo Bar and Mirko Maraldi. We want to achieve a basic knowledge about Italian bamboo as a building material. At the moment we have carried out mechanical tests. Now we have identified some basic properties of Italian bamboo. It's a three-storey house without concrete, made only in bamboo with dry-mounted joints, which means put up without penetration with bolts and without using concrete. And now we will build in 6 months, we will build an amazing structure made of arches of bamboo, again without concrete, and hopefully in the next interview we'll be the best, but the house is definitely the most significant construction of the art of today. I hope to show that bamboo can be a material like steel, concrete and timber. My big dream is to really help people live a better life. Happier and more healthy, with a better quality of life. This also means living in a healthier house, a sustainable house, protecting the planet and the environment, and giving a small contribution through my professionalism in this field. This is a very "aesthetics" plant. It is a very beautiful plant. When you see a bamboo, you recognize everywhere that it is a bamboo, and what's interesting is that you have one piece of wood and a lot of leaves. So you have the flexibles but at the same time you have the leaves that move, and these are two ways to live in the world. I think it's an interesting plant. It's free, it grows freely, it grows fast and we can easily collect it, and it is also very workable, in the sense that it can be engineered, and the difference between the use they made in the past of bamboo as a traditional material, now we are trying to engineer that. I think resilience. Resilience because bamboo is a very resilient plant, hard, and it is ductile, it is very resistant, the fibers are extremely resilient, and I think this is important both in using it coupled with other materials or alone. It can help poverty as well and it is beautiful, in the background, you can see a beautiful pavillon, very simple, done by students and built with their own hands so you can do magnificent things yourself. You don't need factories, you don't need construction companies, you can do it by yourself or you can do it with friends or with a group of people. So, that's kind of my future vision of the world. The BambooRush contest was a great idea that I had to promote the bamboo plant, and actually this year we attracted the interest of many architects and engineers, who wanted to invent, to try to use bamboo in many different ways, inventing objects and design, and we had 3 winners, and we actually discovered the many possibilities also with the creativity of those architects and designers, for the use of bamboo. What we would like to do every year is maybe change the theme a little bit and to investigate really what bamboo can be used for, how bamboo can be used, for architecture or engineering structures, or also in design, but maybe in different ways, with different uses.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 44 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 19
Posted by: gabriella61 on Dec 12, 2018


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