Architektur als Social Design

The Bamboo Route



2019, Stuttgart 

Institut für Landschaftsplanung und Ökologie, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Dieterle


Projektteam: Leolo Laubinger


The project plans to explore the rich vernacular architecture and traditions of Indonesia together with architects, artists, engineers and students. A group of students from Stuttgart will learn methods of working with bamboo as a responsible and sustainable material. The project is mainly focused on a collaborative workshop in Weelewo, a native community on Sumba Island, and a collaboration in a post disaster reconstruction prototype on Sulawesi. The route invites participants in March 2019 to (re)learn how to inhabit our environment in a sustainable way as rural communities did by using local materials. Today, their ancestral practices are getting lost due to different factors such as the growth of cities, modernity, and globalization.


Indonesia has recently experienced the impacts of an environmental disaster as a consequence of climate change. Just 2018 there have been two major earthquakes with death tolls of over 2,000. The vulnerability of this country, as of many other parts of the world, can be eased by sustainable strategies in social development, including the reconstruction efforts through emergency architecture. Working with native communities that preserve the knowledge of coexisting with nature and strategies to tackle climate change, the project aims to reconnect locals with experts to bridge the existing lack of knowledge.


Indonesia contains more than 70 species of bamboo. In the first part of this project we will learn about the use of this natural resource as a flexible, highly resistant, and sustainable material. The group will travel though the islands of Indonesia in order to gather a variety of techniques by studying examples of bamboo buildings. The excursions will be accompanied by local professionals like Architect Andrea Fitrianto, who will give lectures and seminars throughout the journey with an academic and critical focus on climate change and sustainability.


The second part will be practical. Participants will be incentivized to reinforce their commitment with the environment and be highly sensible to ecological reconstruction practices in vulnerable areas. In Weelewo (Sumba), we will participate with local builders and residents from the community in a workshop for the implementation of a children’s learning facility. One part of the workshop will be to design and build a new piece of furniture made of bamboo.