A big woven nest, ethereal, almost suspended over the water. This is the mega-installation Bamboo Ring: Weaving into lightness by Kengo Kuma, which surprises visitors in the garden of the Victoria&Albert Museum during the London Design Festival, the week of events that makes London dance to the beat of creativity. An impressive structure, solid but light: it is made of bamboo woven with carbon fiber, an innovative use of materials but also an invitation to engage in human relations, in the hope that lives can blossom and meet in an inseparable bond.
“Bamboo is a material that reminds me of childhood and the homes that surrounded me,” says the Japanese master famous for his temporary bamboo structures made to cope with natural disasters. “Bamboo is a flexible, light, strong and sustainable material. Here we combine it with carbon fiber in a weave that is 10 times stronger than any other material, a high-tech invention that could be used in the future to make light, strong buildings that can stand up to earthquakes.” The structure is formed by rings with a diameter of two meters, in Phyllostachys edulis bamboo, an age-old natural substance, combined with a contemporary material like carbon fiber.
The architect and master of lightness is also a protagonist of the Global Design Forum, also at the Victoria&Albert Museum, a series of encounters with protagonists and innovators of worldwide creativity like Vivienne Westwood and Yves Behar: “I will talk about innovative materials, bamboo combined with carbon fiber, for high-performance buildings that are also sustainable.”