Experimental Bamboo

Location: Wynne Farm, Kenscoff, Haiti

Dates: 2nd – 12th January 2014

The Brief

Deye monn, gin monn.” or “Beyond mountains, more mountains.”

This age old Haitian proverb has taken on a new meaning following the political, natural and economic factors which have afflicted the nation over the past century. However it was originally intended to describe the unique terrain of the Island nation of Haiti. The past century has seen the eradication of all but 2% of Haiti’s trees and bamboo is being increasingly grown as a solution not just in binding the exposed hillsides, but as a light weight material for construction.

The Haiti Visiting School uses this unique terrain as the setting for a design workshop which asks students to design a vision for bamboo architecture in Haiti. Working in small groups each team will be asked to design a bamboo campus for a hillside site in Kenscoff 12km South of Port au Prince.

Over the course of the ten day workshop students will be exposed to 3d modelling software and parametric programs which can test both the material characteristics and their response to the extreme seismic and climatic context of the site. Students will also be taught and expected to use representation programs such as Adobe Creative Suite to at the end of the course present their proposals in the a competition format to a panel made up of local designers, international architects and the local community.

The teaching staff will comprise of a formidable force of both local and international architects, engineers, artists and horticulturists will form an impressive base of knowledge of local culture, bamboo material characteristics and 3D design software.