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Kengo Kuma designed cocoon-like installation that combines bamboo and carbon fibre at LDF

United Kingdom Architecture News - Sep 17, 2019 - 01:54   1468 views

Kengo Kuma designed cocoon-like installation that combines bamboo and carbon fibre at LDF

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, founder of Kengo Kuma and Associates, has combined the material of bamboo and carbon fibre together to experience a new kind of contemporary material to look into the future of architecture. 

Installed in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A for this year's London Design Festival, Kuma's project, named Bamboo Ring, has been designed as an experiment in the concept of weaving. Bamboo (竹) Ring, or ‘Take-wa 竹わ’, is intended to be a catalyst for weaving people and place together. 

Kengo Kuma designed cocoon-like installation that combines bamboo and carbon fibre at LDF

The 17th edition of London Design Festival has started on Saturday and will be on view until September 22, 2019 with a programme of citywide activity in the districts and destinations, showcasing local and international design talent. 

Kuma's installation is inspired by the John Madejski Garden and it is curated by Clare Farrow. The doughnut-shaped structure – like a nest or cocoon – has been created by weaving rings of bamboo and carbon fibre together. 

For Kuma, working with Ejiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, the installation is an exploration of pliancy, precision, lightness and strength: by pulling two ends, it naturally de-forms and half of the woven structure is lifted into the air.

Kengo Kuma designed cocoon-like installation that combines bamboo and carbon fibre at LDF

Bamboo has been used traditionally in Japanese architecture in part due to its linearity and flexibility, and as a symbol of strength and rapid growth. The basic component of the installation - a 2m-diameter ring – is made from strips of the bamboo Phyllostachys edulis. 

By combining carbon fibre, a contemporary material, with the traditional material of bamboo and laminating each ring, the resulting effect achieves a certain rigidity while maintaining the unique material properties and beauty of bamboo – a remarkable, sustainable material that resonates with Kuma’s childhood memories and looks into the future of architecture. 

Kengo Kuma designed cocoon-like installation that combines bamboo and carbon fibre at LDF

London Design Festival features design installations, including Sam Jacob, Paul Cocksedge, Camille Walala and more. London Design Festival takes over the capital with a nine-day celebration, comprising over 400 different events, exhibitions and installations. 

As a citywide event, Design Districts and Design Destinations play a key role in the Festival, curating an ambitious programme of projects across London, allowing visitors and Londoners an opportunity to experience, discover, and be inspired by world class design.

Kengo Kuma designed cocoon-like installation that combines bamboo and carbon fibre at LDF

Project facts

Design Team (Kuma Lab): Kengo Kuma, Toshiki Hirano, Kohyoh Yang, Hiroki Awaji, Tomohisa Kawase

Fabrication Team at Komatsu Matere premises in Japan: Alexander Mladenov, Cristina Mordeglia, Luciana Tenorio, Simone Parola, Sarah Wellesley, Valentin Rodriguez de las Cuevas.

All images © Ed Reeve

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