Bamboo: A Viable Alternative to Steel Reinforcement?

reinforcement. Image © Professorship of Architecture and Con- struction Dirk E. Hebel, ETH 3) Zürich / FCL Singapore

Developing countries have the highest demand for steel-reinforced concrete, but often do not have the means to produce the steel to meet that demand.  Rather than put themselves at the mercy of a global market dominated by developed countries, Singapore’s Future Cities Laboratory suggests an alternative to this manufactured rarity: bamboo.  Abundant, sustainable, and extremely resilient, bamboo has potential in the future to become an ideal replacement in places where steel cannot easily be produced.

Datagrove / Future Cities Lab

© Peter Prato

Design:  Jason Kelly Johnson & Nataly Gattegno at Future Cities Lab
Team: Ripon DeLeon (lead), Osma Dossani, Jonathan Izen, assisted by David Spittler

Client: ZERO1, Public Art Program, National Endowment for the Arts
Consultant: Elliot Larson created the Twitter trends [xml link]

Technology: Text to Speech Module by TextSpeak, Arduino Mega and Uno, WiFly Shield by Sparkfun, Verizon Mifi, LCD panels by Sparkfun, LEDS by superbrightleds.com, IR sensors by Sharp
Photography: Peter Prato

HYDRAMAX: Port Machines / Future Cities Lab

Courtesy of

Future Cities Lab’s HYDRAMAX Port Machines project, which is currently on exhibit at SFMOMA until July 29, proposes a radical rethinking of ’s urban waterfront post sea-level rise. The proposal renders the existing hard edges of the waterfront as new “soft systems” that would include aquatic parks, community gardens, wildlife refuges and aquaponic farms. A synthetic architecture is introduced that blurs the distinction between building, landscape, infrastructure and machine. More images and architects’ description after the break.

TRILUX Pavilion / Future Cities Lab

© Peter Prato

TRILUX, designed by Future Cities Lab, is an experimental pavilion constructed out of three vertical wooden lattice structures that will be on display in downtown until November 20th . It creates an illuminated beacon anchoring the corner of the site and inviting the neighborhood to participate in the museum activities that take place inside it. More images and project description after the break.