Any design or product resulting from a particular material must reflect the materials inherent characteristics. This truism is even more relevant to the design of objects made from bamboo.
For although bamboo has the obvious aesthetic qualities , look and feel, it also has several structural limitations that dictate design parameters. The obvious qualities of any material are its compressive and tensile strengths. Bamboo exceeds almost all other materials in these categories. But its hollow nature, which in itself contributes to its strength, causes difficulties in producing a strong joint. A rigid construction can only be achieved through proper triangulation, relieving much of the stress on the joints.
Another unique quality of bamboo is its straight grain. It splits predictably along a continuous line through the culm length. This results in the unfortunate "cracking" when subjected to rapid changes in temperature and humidity. It also augments the precise splitting of the culm, which then presents many more design options.
Our philosophy at Island Ambiance has been to create designs that not only reflect the natural beauty of bamboo, but also exploit its natural structural qualities. We have also adhered to a philosophy of "value-added" designs. This refers to the final value assigned to an object is a result of human workmanship, while using a relatively low volume of raw bamboo. This maximizes the economic productivity of bamboo, while preventing overharvesting, and thus maintaining a sustainable agriculture.
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