The Landscape Design Option in the NC State Department of Horticulture, where I teach, is a small-scale design/build program.  As such, it is important for the students to experience the process of actually building something to complete their education.  With limited resources and the belief that all construction projects use essentially the same process, building ephemeral bamboo sculptures is a wonderful way for the students to learn organization, the proper and safe use of tools, commitment to high quality work, and how to properly finish a project. 

The sculptures that we’ve built over the years have been collaborations in design and an exploration of the range of forms and fun possible using a material that most folks in our area want removed from their properties, bamboo.  Called by many the most useful plant in the world, bamboo is light, strong as steel, incredibly resilient, and able to be cut, bent, twisted, and configured into an endless variety of useful and whimsical purposes. 

The two qualifications that I ask of the students when they are evolving their designs is that the sculptures should be interactive, and then fun.  The goal of the latter is to elicit a smile, a chuckle, or even an unbridled guffaw in experiencing each piece.

610 Kirby
Urban Permaculture Model
Will Hooker, Professor, NC State University
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