Design Project in China

A few months ago I was accepted to join a design project in China. The focus for this project was

all about bamboo as an innovative sustainable and practical material. Together with students of the Shanghai university we visited the bamboo forest in Moganshan, we went to different bamboo factories to learn all about the process that goes in to crafting products out of bamboo and of course we went to Shanghai to explore the city in our free time.

As usual we started defining the problems, we generated ideas, created the designs and for the end result we made a 1:1 scale model with the help of Chinese craftsmen specialized in bamboo craft. I worked together with a group of two Chinese students, one IDE student and three IPO students including myself. The idea was to use bamboo by combining traditional bamboo crafting techniques with new modern technology to show that you can do more than traditional products like fans and baskets. The challenge we set for ourselves was to make the user forget that it is bamboo but still retaining its useful properties. The result was a a product line called bamboo urban wear. A combination of a bamboo backpack and an experimental design for a bamboo shoe sole, crafted from bamboo fabrics laminate and cushioning material (except for the zipper, but if i have some spare time I’ll still try :P).

I had an amazing time in China. Combining learning with traveling is definitely something I want to keep doing. I’m sure I will go back soon to explore this beautiful country a lot more. Enjoy some more pictures I made during this amazing trip!

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© Boudewijn Buitenhek  2020