To demonstrate versatility of bamboo as a material for housing.
The Bamboo project focussed on finding ways to demonstrate bamboo’s versatility and strengths, improve the employment prospects and living standards of bamboo craftsmen. It was meant to demonstrate the versatility of bamboo as a material for building construction and making furniture: for its low cost, easy workability, strength, durability, aesthetics potential and sustainability. The design challenge was to show that a low cost product, be that a small house or furniture set, need not be poor in design and aesthetic quality. The occasion was also to study and understand the life, livelihood, work and struggle of poor tribal bamboo artisan community and think of ways to upgrade their skills, tools, quality of work and productivity. The additional objective was to find ways to replicate the house designs, made through the project, through the on-going public housing projects such as Indira Awas Yojana with a view to create employment prospects for some of the bamboo artisans and, even more importantly, demonstrate well designed bamboo houses on a big enough scale. Bamboo deserves mainstreaming. The scaling up potential and marketability of the furniture sets were also a consideration in the project design.
The other aspects of the project included documenting bamboo work tradition and practises in other regions of the country, involvement of the student community, organizing a regional workshop to bring together professional practitioners and traditional artisans to share information, ideas, knowledge, tools and technology and production of a process film on the project. Improving skills, where and if possible, and creating access to knowledge and technology to the traditional bamboo artisans, mostly poor and fast alienating from the old skill sets on bamboo and giving a new respectability to the versatile yet much neglected and ignored material through creative designs, were the main objectives of the project.
PDPL is an exploratory study initiated by INHAF in Pune to involve the urban poor in defining the poverty line themselves. Pune has several dynamic unions and organizations of the urban poor who are sensitive to the impact that the poverty line has on their entitlements, benefits and development. With these member-based unions and organizations of the poor as partners, INHAF piloted the Poor Defining Poverty Line Initiative in xxxx, inspired by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights that conducted a similar study in 6 Asian countries between 2013 and 2014.
This work is seen as a special contribution to the poverty debate as also a rethink on the strategies, plans and projects for poverty reduction. It is possibly one of the first such efforts in the country’s urban sector and is meant to:
a) highlight the need for and the virtue of the bottom-up way of defining and measuring poverty, a subject of national concern and development planning and action (the poor who live poverty are well equipped to define it )
b) develop and demonstrate a participatory, consultative and community engaging methodology in doing so
c) contribute to demystification of the poverty line, at the top and the bottom, at the government and the city level
d) highlight the known deficiencies and inadequacies of the existing definition and the measuring method—the uni-dimensional, nutrition-based poverty line—to ascertain that poverty is a multifaceted and multidimensional phenomenon.
- One of the biggest activities was a one month long workshop organised for students of architecture, furniture and interior design students to live, work, design and construct with the bamboo craftsmen and community at URAVU, Waynad.
- Conducted the product library workshop in Dungarda village in xx. The team organised traditional craftspeople to showcase their techniques, tools and cultural heritage.
- Film documentation of the craftsmen in Dungarda village.
- While designing this project, INHAF spoke to multiple stakeholders such as the Kotwalias of South Gujarat in order to understand their community’s construction practices using bamboo. Young designers were also involved in designing and implementing this project since its inception. The key issues and lessons related to the usage of bamboo as material to construct houses and create furniture have been discussed in four different booklets- (i) Kotwalia- the Bamboo Tribe; (ii) Housing for Poor; (iii) Bamboo- A Versatile Material; (iv) Sustainability in Architecture.
URAVU, WonderGrass, Habitat Technology Group