Magical houses, made of bamboo | Elora Hardy

Magical houses, made of bamboo | Elora Hardy


When I was nine years old, my mom asked me what I would want
my house to look like, and I drew this fairy mushroom. And then she actually built it. (Laughter) I don’t think I realized
this was so unusual at the time, and maybe I still haven’t, because I’m still designing houses. This is a six-story bespoke home
on the island of Bali. It’s built almost entirely from bamboo. The living room overlooks the valley
from the fourth floor. You enter the house by a bridge. It can get hot in the tropics, so we make big curving roofs
to catch the breezes. But some rooms have tall windows
to keep the air conditioning in and the bugs out. This room we left open. We made an air-conditioned, tented bed. And one client wanted a TV room
in the corner of her living room. Boxing off an area with tall walls
just didn’t feel right, so instead, we made this giant woven pod. Now, we do have all the necessary
luxuries, like bathrooms. This one is a basket
in the corner of the living room, and I’ve got tell you, some people
actually hesitate to use it. We have not quite figured out
our acoustic insulation. (Laughter) So there are lots of things
that we’re still working on, but one thing I have learned is that bamboo will treat you well
if you use it right. It’s actually a wild grass. It grows on otherwise unproductive land — deep ravines, mountainsides. It lives off of rainwater,
spring water, sunlight, and of the 1,450 species of bamboo
that grow across the world, we use just seven of them. That’s my dad. He’s the one who got me
building with bamboo, and he is standing in a clump of Dendrocalamus asper niger
that he planted just seven years ago. Each year, it sends up
a new generation of shoots. That shoot, we watched it grow a meter
in three days just last week, so we’re talking about sustainable
timber in three years. Now, we harvest from hundreds
of family-owned clumps. Betung, as we call it, it’s really long, up to 18 meters of usable length. Try getting that truck down the mountain. And it’s strong: it has
the tensile strength of steel, the compressive strength of concrete. Slam four tons straight down on a pole, and it can take it. Because it’s hollow, it’s lightweight, light enough to be lifted
by just a few men, or, apparently, one woman. (Laughter) (Applause) And when my father
built Green School in Bali, he chose bamboo for all
of the buildings on campus, because he saw it as a promise. It’s a promise to the kids. It’s one sustainable material
that they will not run out of. And when I first saw these structures
under construction about six years ago, I just thought, this makes perfect sense. It is growing all around us. It’s strong. It’s elegant. It’s earthquake-resistant. Why hasn’t this happened sooner,
and what can we do with it next? So along with some of
the original builders of Green School, I founded Ibuku. Ibu means “mother,” and ku means “mine,”
so it represents my Mother Earth, and at Ibuku, we are a team
of artisans, architects and designers, and what we’re doing together
is creating a new way of building. Over the past five years together, we have built over 50 unique structures,
most of them in Bali. Nine of them are at Green Village — you’ve just seen inside
some of these homes — and we fill them with bespoke furniture, we surround them with veggie gardens, we would love to invite you all
to come visit someday. And while you’re there,
you can also see Green School — we keep building
classrooms there each year — as well as an updated
fairy mushroom house. We’re also working on
a little house for export. This is a traditional Sumbanese home
that we replicated, right down to the details and textiles. A restaurant
with an open-air kitchen. It looks a lot like a kitchen, right? And a bridge that spans
22 meters across a river. Now, what we’re doing,
it’s not entirely new. From little huts to elaborate bridges
like this one in Java, bamboo has been in use across
the tropical regions of the world for literally tens of thousands of years. There are islands and even continents
that were first reached by bamboo rafts. But until recently, it was almost impossible to reliably
protect bamboo from insects, and so, just about everything
that was ever built out of bamboo is gone. Unprotected bamboo weathers. Untreated bamboo gets eaten to dust. And so that’s why most people,
especially in Asia, think that you couldn’t be poor enough
or rural enough to actually want to live in a bamboo house. And so we thought, what will it take to change their minds, to convince people
that bamboo is worth building with, much less worth aspiring to? First, we needed safe treatment solutions. Borax is a natural salt. It turns bamboo into
a viable building material. Treat it properly, design it carefully, and a bamboo structure
can last a lifetime. Second, build something
extraordinary out of it. Inspire people. Fortunately, Balinese culture fosters craftsmanship. It values the artisan. So combine those
with the adventurous outliers from new generations
of locally trained architects and designers and engineers, and always remember that you are designing for curving, tapering, hollow poles. No two poles alike, no straight lines, no two-by-fours here. The tried-and-true, well-crafted formulas
and vocabulary of architecture do not apply here. We have had to invent our own rules. We ask the bamboo what it’s good at,
what it wants to become, and what it says is: respect it,
design for its strengths, protect it from water,
and to make the most of its curves. So we design in real 3D, making scale structural models out of the same material
that we’ll later use to build the house. And bamboo model-making, it’s an art, as well as some hardcore engineering. So that’s the blueprint of the house. (Laughter) And we bring it to site, and with tiny rulers,
we measure each pole, and consider each curve, and we choose
a piece of bamboo from the pile to replicate that house on site. When it comes down to the details,
we consider everything. Why are doors so often rectangular? Why not round? How could you make a door better? Well, its hinges battle with gravity, and gravity will always win in the end, so why not have it pivot on the center where it can stay balanced? And while you’re at it,
why not doors shaped like teardrops? To reap the selective benefits
and work within the constraints of this material, we have really had to push ourselves, and within that constraint,
we have found space for something new. It’s a challenge: how
do you make a ceiling if you don’t have any
flat boards to work with? Let me tell you, sometimes I dream
of sheet rock and plywood. (Laughter) But if what you’ve got
is skilled craftsmen and itsy bitsy little splits, weave that ceiling together, stretch a canvas over it, lacquer it. How do you design durable
kitchen countertops that do justice to this curving
structure you’ve just built? Slice up a boulder like a loaf of bread, hand-carve each to fit the other, leave the crusts on, and what we’re doing,
it is almost entirely handmade. The structural connections
of our buildings are reinforced by steel joints, but we use
a lot of hand-whittled bamboo pins. There are thousands of pins in each floor. This floor is made of glossy
and durable bamboo skin. You can feel the texture under bare feet. And the floor that you walk on, can it affect the way that you walk? Can it change the footprint
that you’ll ultimately leave on the world? I remember being nine years old and feeling wonder, and possibility, and a little bit of idealism. And we’ve got a really long way to go, there’s a lot left to learn, but one thing I know is that
with creativity and commitment, you can create beauty and comfort and safety and even luxury out of a material that will grow back. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Magical houses, made of bamboo | Elora Hardy

  1. Follow gcoportal.com or gcoportal.co.uk for the newest scientific and technological news, views and videos of the construction industry.Facebook.com/gcoofficial Twitter.com/gcoofficial Instragram.com/gcoofficial

  2. I love this😍 but seems its complicated to do.. We have a lot of bamboo in our land in my hometown …and our house is made by wood as well bcoz we have a lot of hard woods .. But this concept its really good

  3. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN AND SMART SHOWS ALL OF THAT WITH HER CONFIDENCE WHAT A GIFT ASIA HAS BEEN GIVEN A BUILDING MATERIAL THAT CAN BE USED TO BUILD BEAUTIFUL STRUCTURES WE MUST START THINKING IN THIS WAY TO PROVIDE A SUSTAINABLE PLANET AND A BEAUTIFUL LIFE STYLE . TO BAD GREED GET,S THE BETTER OF MOST PEOPLE

  4. This is still amazing to me. I watched this video a long time ago, 3 or 4 years ago, and when I saw it back in my feed I clicked on it right away. I desire to live in a house using this sustainable material when I am out of school. It is so inspiring, thank you Elora Hardy.

  5. Over-elaborate bamboo buildings with modern-day people won't be able to afford it exploiting the areas around you for resources that you pay pennies on is not Progressive it becomes Petty

  6. The only bad things I can say about this are that I kind of hate the fake style of ted talk presentations. Doors are designed the way they are so that there is no lip, or minimal lip when passing the threshold. The teardrop door would be beyond inconvenient in most situations, even holding some food, I could see it going oh so wrong hahhaa. A better design for a swivel door would be a square door, with a swivel in the middle, with no lip

  7. "just a few men . . . or one woman" Ha ha ha – that's great. I love this architect – she is so amazing. Her buildings are so far above and beyond anything else. She is like an "environmentally enlightened Frank Gehry" maybe. She deserves a Nobel Prize I think.

  8. The description says this woman – who can carry as much as 4 men – built these houses but there isn't a single picture of her doing so.

  9. In Tripura,India there are places where everthing is made using bamboo, from home to cooking to fishing, etc etc etc

  10. For people who give a video a thumbs down, Youtube should force them to give a reason,
    because I love to know the reason people don't like this one.

  11. OK, so what's happened with this? This is several years ago, this was uploaded, and I watched this for the first time, some two years ago, so what has happened since?

    My Best. Out.

  12. These places are beautiful….
    I could retire in places like this…. Requires the rite climate….
    But way worth it….

  13. Madam, spectacularly done, continue building, with the help of, 🍃Mother Nature🍃.
    For everything needed to shelter, feed and yes even cure. Has been surrounding us for centuries. The Elements of Life, our land, our trees and very important our ocean, with the help of the Sun.🍃

  14. Is no one fact checking the stuff that is said in these TED talks? i've heard so much bullshit by now, damn.
    tensile strength of steel?? some steels have a strength over 1000 MPa! while bamboo is 80 Mpa max. she could just say it's strong, and not blurt out a lie.

  15. I grew up in a small village of Braddock Heights Maryland in the countryside which fortunately was directly across the road from a huge patch of pristine bamboo. It was my personal fantasyland which intrigued me throughout the year as a child to no end.
    After big snowstorms this (still green) magnificent swath was bent over from the gravitational pull and weight of the snow just low enough for my skinny body to clamber way up top and lay down on and blissfully gaze up at the sky. I was in heaven. This abandoned nursery was flanked by GIGANTIC spruce trees also covered in snow with pinecones the size of toasters. A small stream meandered throughout and in the summer guaranteed all sorts of flora and fauna with big and small creatures.
    Wow
    I forgot how much fun i had in there. I miss it.

  16. I have NEVER been so inspired!!!
    I have been building and selling the materials for modern homes all my life and this makes me really want to change. Aloha Kākou 🤙🏼❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  17. Once again the native people love nature and whites only see profits. Keep the devils out of your enivorments..

  18. I was planning on moving to Laos and building a bamboo long house for retirement … this Video was a treasure of info … just subscribed…

  19. ,EXCUSEZ MOI ? MOI ,mais chez cousin hardy ,sa sens le fumier ,la ferme ,les mouches ,ici ,sur la photo est le paludisme et la malaria ,bref les mousthiques ,hardy n est pas de paradis fiscal ,de territoire bannanier ,ou les gens sont esclavent de putains ,donc la famille hardy s excuse pour toutes ces putes et leurs pedo ,quel meurt ,la petite a envie ,creve

  20. I think this is what the future is going to look like. Bamboo homes of fantastical designs, drones delivering groceries, little electric cars driving you to work, robotic dogs patrolling your yard… It really is starting to come into focus isn't it?

  21. Espetacular! A riqueza dos detalhes está impregnada nas mágicas mãos humanas, nas ideias de cérebros aventureiros, no espírito que transforma o mundo para um viver melhor!

  22. The people that attend TED are racists and sexists. How do we know…because they laugh at jokes so long as the butt of the joke is of the correct gender or race. See, had she reversed that joke…showed a picture of a few women carrying bamboo, and one man doing it…which I am sure can be found…nobody would have laughed. But this kind of joke, the way she told it, tickles their funny bone just right. Just the way they like it.

  23. Incredible bamboo.ive had a vision of my vacation home in Brazil for years and hear is a very good rendition of it being spoken about by a lady I have never even heard of🤔I will still build mine though.

  24. I almost took this serious until I realized that a woman was just doing this for her and not a good cause. Why didn't her dad who taught her or her slave Asians come up and talk about how it helps them from Godzilla, protect their rice fields, sushi, and really bad cartoon

  25. What bamboo wants is to be, is exported, to be used in places that bugs don't turn it to dust. Build with Aircrete in the tropics and the structures will last centuries.

  26. She explains it as if they themselves built the house, when it was locals that built it for them. Then attempts to downplay their use of bamboo and the impact on the environment. And finally the Mother Earth bs is indicative of New Age Leftist crap. She's a typical Globalist.

  27. So stunning and simple, as a wood craftsman I must say this idea is brilliant and powerful. Please build more and bring these ideas back to the states! Wow

  28. Bamboo dries quickly in the sun and heat and it cracks. Not sure whether some of these structures have a maintenance schedule.

  29. Am in love with bamboo because of its versatility and beauty. However, I would like to know more about it especially identifying the Guadua specie or if possible get the seedlings even if its going to cost me a little. Thank you . I will wait for your response.

  30. I know it's boring to deal with the details. But I have to wonder what kind of building codes they are subjected to and the effect that has on the feasibility of these structures. Building codes are our friend. They keep us safe and make sure what is often our largest investment can withstand the rigors of time and the elements. No denying the whimsical beauty though

  31. I'm guessing all those primitive house builder building in the jungle with nothing more than just their machete/shovel use to work for this but decided to go solo? Lol

  32. At 3:07 she shows a woman carrying dried bamboo trunks and just before that men carrying a fresh one which is comparatively far more heavier than dried ones…why does these Western women make everything about gender? The irony is that wester women gets the most freedom than any other…sadly, audience seems to love it…if it were opposite then the women will cry foul…

  33. But how do you fight wood pest? That is most likely in that kind of tropic area and pest adapt to a pest chemicals that is what im wondering

  34. Do these bamboo structures have an earthquake resistance for countries which have regulations on buildings? It is supposed for light structures to be earthquake proof, but are they proven to be as such to official authorities? I wonder if anyone could have knowledge on this

  35. While she has an admirable goal in using such a quick growing plant to save trees, that style of building is not suitable for the other 90% of the planet. That won’t work when it’s snowy and 10 degrees.

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