At the start of 2020, Imagineer, with Bridge artistic director Orit Azaz, began to develop an ambitious new public art project, in the context of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, around the themes of bridging divides and connecting across difference.
Inspired by the Bridge Kits created in 2019, we wanted to invite people to design and build small structures which could combine to create a giant structure. We explored many possible materials for this, including bamboo.
As part of our research we were introduced to Neil Thomas, co-director of the global structural engineering company Atelier One, who set the scene for the importance of bamboo in relation to sustainability and the climate crisis. He inspired us with his enthusiasm for bamboo and confidence that we could source the bamboo needed for the project in the UK.
Our project became Bridge2Bamboo.
With support from Arts Council England, Birmingham2022 and the British Council, Imagineer is now working with partners in four continents, including across the UK, in a Bamboo Creative Exchange Lab.
The Lab brings together amazing, talented, like-minded people to share their passion for what they do. We are gathering different perspectives and approaches to designing, making and building with bamboo, as well as exploring the tensions involved in developing bamboo as a sustainable building material for the planet.
We will experiment with virtual collaboration in bamboo design and build, with support from experts Bamboo U, who (due to Covid-19) have had to develop a completely new online approach to the immersive and experiential courses they normally run.
We plan to discover - through doing - where this adventure can lead us.
Share your thoughts with us via social media using the hashtags #bridge2bamboo and #bamboolab
Bridge2Bamboo is commissioned as part of the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme in partnership with our International Research & Development Funder, The British Council.
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