Friday, April 17, 2009

Mad about Bamboo

Recently, Heath Nash, that brilliant designer who turns recycled plastics into lighted works of art, marveled & raved about the range, diversity & complexity of local Malaysian handicraft during his design workshop during the KL Design Week.

I had thot, oh great, another gwei-lo getting inspired by the most mundane trinkets found in our craft markets,
reminding us of our rich heritage in craft & design. What does it mean - that these crafty achievements has gone unnoticed by Malaysian designers fed on a diet of foreign design superiority. So, from now on, I will also blog on Malaysian handicraft news into kakireka's radar in the hope that it will bring about more awareness & subsequent creative collaborations between designers & handicraft producers.

As a start, there is bamboo, a woody grass(!) found growing all over Malaysia. I was told that in Java, indonesia,
bamboo is treasured as a resource and used so efficiently that a normal family can sustain itself economically making bamboo-derived products with just 4 clumps of bamboo growing in their backyard. From building houses & furniture to household utensils, handicraft & toys for sale. Whereas in Malaysia, bamboo is just treated like grass or at best, merely decoration in a pot or landscaping. FYI, Malaysia used to be in the forefront of bamboo "technology" & research. China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh are way ahead of us in this field where bamboo is seen as a viable, eco-friendlier alternative construction material compared to timber/wood by using latest engineering tech for reinforcement & durability. In the US alone, there are 4000+ registered patents on inventions using bamboo. (info updated from Bamboo Forum speakers).

What can you do with BAMBOO?
Find out at this event. For Architects, Product Designers, Interior Designers, Artists, Handicraft producers, etc.

MACRI Creativity & Innovation Week - Exploring New Possibilities
15 - 21 April 2009 // Pusat Sains Negara, Bukit Kiara, KL.

MACRI (Malaysian Association of Creativity & Innovation) has planned a week of programs, workshops, seminars, activities, all designed to bring out the creative and innovative spirit in us. While the overall theme of this year’s Creativity & Innovation Week is bamboo, there are many parallel events that cater to everyone.
Here are some items that may interest Designers:

15 - 21April 9am - 5pm daily
Bamboo Expo
unique showcase of all kinds of products and crafts made from bamboo. Highly recommended for secondary and college students, and entrepreneurs.

18th April SAT 9am ~ 4pm
Bamboo FORUM – Material of the New Millenium // The anchor event of the entire week. Come and hear experts and speakers talk about bamboo and its vast potential. Targeted at entrepreneurs, innovators, members of government agencies, the corporate sector, and the academia. Participation fee is RM25 per person for members of the public, and RM10 per person for students (including lunch and tea breaks). Free for participants from MACRI, FRIM, PSN, MOSTI, YIM, MARA, OUM, MENSA. full programme - below.

19th April SUN 9am ~ 5pm
Bamboo Design Workshop // Led by staff and students from ALFA International College, this is a one-of-its-kind workshop that imparts creative skills through the use of bamboo. Targeted at youth from colleges and universities, and also at young entrepreneurs. Limited seats.

21st April TUE 10am ~ 12pm
Seminar: Forging a Thinking & Innovative Organization // Targeted at the representatives of any corporate organization, the seminar examines the crucial role Creativity and Innovative can play to help meet today’s many challenges. Middle and Senior Management staff will find this seminar very useful. Facilitator is none other than Dato’ Ghazi Sheikh Ramli, Malaysia’s foremost Innovation Evangelist.

Bamboo FORUM Material of the New Millenium
09.45am -- BAMBOO – HOW MUCH DO WE KNOW by: En Abdul Razak Othman, Senior Research Officer, FRIM
10.15am -- Tea Break
10.45am -- BAMBOO FOR HEALTH, by Dr Marzalina Mansor, Director, Biotech Division, FRIM
11.15am -- ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN WITH BAMBOO by: Assoc. Prof Puan Sri Nila Inangda, Dept of Architecture, Universiti Malaya
11.45am -- BAMBOO FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS by: Prof Dr Jimmy Lim, Alfa College
12.15pm -- A SHOWCASE OF THE LATEST BAMBOO PRODUCTS by: Dr Wan Tarmeze Wan Ariffin, Senior Research Officer, FRIM
12.45pm -- COMMERCIALIZATION OF BAMBOO PRODUCTS by: Assoc. Prof Dr Razak Wahab, School of Tropical Forestry, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
01.15pm -- Lunch
02.30pm -- PANEL DISCUSSION – BAMBOO, MATERIAL OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM moderated by: Dato’ Ghazi Sheikh Ramli, Founder/President, MACRI
04.00pm -- End of Forum

>> More info at MACRI, or call Ramesh at 017-8828 302

Some designs using bamboo found online...

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