Knock it Down - Bring the bamboo home


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Knock it Down - Bring the bamboo home

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. PrefaceFor all of us who have been through and education in ‘Design’, the word means many different things. We understand itsnature and its implications. We apply and we observe. We gather and we collate. We instill in and imbibe from myriad spacesof thought, culture, society and environment. We all feel a sense of belonging when we hear the word ‘design’. The beautyof it all lies in the fact that we all understand it differently. We define its purposes differently. It is almost as though we allconstantly seek to find our own missions, once empowered to ‘think like designers’.Through two years of a study in Product Design I have learnt much. I have spent a lot of time trying to get to the bottomof it all, to define Product Design. Along the line, my notions have constantly undergone change. It has been an adventur-ous but steady ride. A fluctuating but enriching experience. This project is another such adventure. I no longer wish to defineProduct Design. I have instead developed an apatite for the mysteries it has to offer.During my study in Product Design, somewhere down the line I became acquainted with a new medium, one which took meby surprise and instantly filled my frame of vision. Being very intrigued by this medium, I dove right in and began taking ashot every opportunity I found. In the process I discovered amazing things and found a large scope for this medium. I tookthe unconventional way in, starting at the top and tumbling my way down to the basics. With this project, I started again, atthe basics, with a fresh new angle. The attempt has been to find a new way up, learning as much as I possibly can along theway.
  3. 3. AcknowledgementsI would like to convey my gratitude to a number of I would specially like to thank David at the workshop or ‘in-people and parties, all of whom have contributed in novation station’ as he and I like to call it, for providing mesome way or the other towards bringing this project with his full cooperation and taking interest in my work.home... A big thank you is also due to Matthew at the workshop forA special thank you to Sangaru Design Objects Pvt. constantly making himself available to us involvement has been integral and key to the Finally, I would like to thank the home team, my family, forcompletion of this project their undying faith and unconditional support, and my fellow batch mates and friends for sharing their energy and occa-A heartfelt thank you to Jackson Poretta and the sionally boosting my ego!Green Chakra group for their undying enthusiasmand support. Jackie Bhai and the boys never fail tosynergize and energize !A special thank you to my review panel, Janak Mis-try, Bani Singh and Jackson Poretta for their con-stant guidance and support.A big thank you to Prof. M. P. Ranjan and Susanth.C. S. at NID for their guidence.A big thank you to Sudipto Dasgupta, Naga NandiniDasgupta and Gopal Bengeri.Thank you all for your valuable feedback and ‘everready’ attitude.
  4. 4. ContentsSynopsis....................................................................................................................................1InitiativesGreen Chakra..........................................................................................................................3Bamboo - the material...........................................................................................................6The ProjectIntroduction.............. ................................................................................................................................13Methodology..............................................................................................................................................14Concept 1 - Strip Arch..,........................................................................................................................19Concept 2 - Knockables, Satackables and Bamboo.......................................................................47Prototype production............................................................................................................54Critique....................................................................................................................................89Conclusion..............................................................................................................................91Bibliography............................................................................................................................92
  5. 5. SynopsisTowards the end of my two year study in Product Design, I got an opportunity to do a self initiated project. By this time, Ihad begun thinking about the field of natural building as an area of design. I decided to generate my project in the field ofnatural building. At this point I got in touch with Jackson Poretta and the Green Chakra group, who were working with natu-ral building techniques at the time. A large part of their activity was taking place at Drishya Kalika Kendra in Bayappanahalli,Bangalore. After some discussion, it was decided that I would come in and contribute a shelter structure to the Drishyacampus. The designs I created incorporated bamboo as the prime material. This would be my first time working with bam-boo. The structure required multiple bamboo poles to be bent into similar curves. With no prior experience and too muchresearch to process in the given time, we jumped right into an experimental exercise, mixing techniques and learning as wewent along. It was here that I first felt an urge to learn more about bamboo.Following the Drishya project, I took up an internship at the Center for Bamboo Research, Auroville. During the courseof the internship I worked on a real time project - designing public furniture for the Pondicherry marine drive, in Bamboo.I undertook design development and coordination of prototype production. Working with scant facilities and only a fewhours of electricity a day, I ended up doing a lot of work manually and got real up close with the material. I was exposed tonew techniques and methods using bamboo. It was here that I became acquainted with the issues and challenges related tobamboo, with relation to furniture production. I understood the qualities of the material; Qualities that make it unique andthose that hold it back from full exploitation of its capabilities. I found myself asking - so what ? why not ? there must be abetter way. It is here that I found my inspiration for this project. Following this I got in touch with many professionals withvaried experience, gathered data, and jumped in! 1
  6. 6. InitiativesGreen Chakra Any design process must be as ‘inclusive’ as possible. Includ- ing multiple parties, within reason of course, increases the number of beneficiaries and adds collective synergy to any design process and here lies the true value of design as an exercise. I now had an opportunity to act upon this belief, by orient- ing my project such as to include more people, for whom this can be a valuable learning exercise. The Green Chakra group : Jackson Poretta is a natural builder and an ecological artist who has undertaken the tutorship of six young men from Byappanhalli and Sanyasikunte, with a goal to train them in the field of natural building, in order to equip them with the knowledge to make a difference in their own homes and the skills to generate employability. Together they are“GreenChakra”. All material experiments and basic prototyping for the Knock It Down project, would be carried out in collabora- tion with the Green Chakra group. This would be a new area of work for Green Chakra. It would be a valuable learning exercise for them and would help expand their workspace to include new production techniques with Bamboo. Simultaneously, it would serve the purpose of material tests and explorations for the Knock It Down project. 3
  7. 7. bamboothe material 5
  8. 8. About Bamboothe material The culm consists of tissues which have vessels for carrying the culm is usually hol- watery sap, conducting food solutions, and the thick walled low, but in few species fibres. The cells store starch and all cells are vertically it is solid or has small oriented. All these together make up the fibrovascular bundles which run vertically in the internodes. The bundles are smaller, more in number and compact towards the branch periphery. Also, the maximum number of fibrovascular clum bundles is found towards the base of the culm. This is because as they ascend some of them pass into the branches node and leaves at the nodes. There is no branching of the vessels or fibres along the internodes, resulting in weak transverse Sheath or bonds. The fibres constitute 60 to 70 percent by weight of culm leaf the bamboo, while the vessels make up about 15 percent.1 The transverse section of a culm shows a much higher concentration of culm shoot fibres towards the periphery than the inner wall. Near the or sprout base of the culm, the outer one third portions contain the most fibres. The longest and most mature fibres are found between one-fourth to half the height of the culm. Above this the fibres tend to get smaller and less mature 6
  9. 9. About Bamboothe material culm internode of the whole culm, the top part is the strongest in compression, and bending strength in most cases in the internode the shortest fibres are located near the nodes and the longest are in the centre of the internode of the whole culm the central part of the culm is the strongest in tension the lower part of the culm inspite of its largest diameter and wall thickness has the lowest mechanical characteristics of the whole culm. the thickness of the wall culm decreases from the base to the top 7
  10. 10. About Bamboothe material Bamboo culms are tall cylindrical stems which taper at the top with the maximum diameter at the base. They are usually hollow with few exceptional species. All culms are rhythmically divided by transverse walls at nodes which appear as a slight swelling on the surface of the cylinder. The parts between the nodes are called the internodes and the hollow space within is called the lumen. Branches and leaves grow out of the nodes, generally towards the upper part of the culm. Culms of different species of bamboo are characterized by varying physical properties . These are reflected in the variations in diameter of culm, height ofDiverse physical characteristics of bamboo culms of different species. culm, wall thickness of internodes, size of lumen, length(a) variation in diamter (b) variations in internode length of internodes, branching pattern, and so on. The most significant variation seems to lie in the shapes of the culm sheaths which are attached to the nodes till the culm attains maturity. The nodes are swollen and more lignified than the internodes. The transverse membrane completely separates each internode. The vessels and fibres that are unconnected in the internodes pass through the transverse wall, cross connecting the wall of the culm.. The nodes, therefore, provide the only connection from one end of the culm to another. The slenderness ratio of bamboo culms is very high which could make the structure of the plant unstable. Nodes play an important role of the axial crack arrester. It prevents the cylinder from structural buckling and increases bamboo’s rigidity.Variations in wall thickness in different species of bamboo 8
  11. 11. About Bamboothe materialThe term ‘bamboo’ describes all tree or bush-like grasseshaving a durable woody or branched stem. The lignifying cross - weight failure atcell structure of the bamboo tissue and its technological section (kg) tensile loadproperties are similar to the wood tissue. Bamboo may, (cm.sq.) (kp.)therefore, also be termed ‘wood’. However, bamboo has themost rapid growth amongst all plants (up to 1.2m in 24hrs).1 Steel St. 37 1 0.785 4Bamboo is extremely resistant to tensile stresses, has high Wood 13.5 0.785 8resistance to bending and buckling stresses. It fails in shearbefore it fails in tension. The bottom portion of the culm is Bamboo 12 0.785 24more resistant to shear due to its greater wall thickness. Asfar as size, lightness and strength are concerned, bamboo With regard to its mechanical/ technological propertiesis one of nature’s extreme products. Other products, such bamboo is superior to constructional timber (softwood)as reed, cane, and rod timber, are practically its equal, since and also to constructional steel in terms of the ratio of livealmost all them constitute light weight constructions. load/ deadweight. Bamboo as a plant is a phenomenon; and possesses fascinating material properties. Because ofAll types of rods – in particular grasses (bamboo, reeds and the hard silicate layer of the outer surface, bamboo is highlystraw) and straight - growing coniferous trees (fi r, spruce) resistant to chemical, insect and mechanical exposure.are not only effective from a structural point of view, butalso very economical. Effective transmission of forces overa particular length makes bamboo extremely inexpensivecompared to other rods.Young culms with high moisture content show a greaterincrease in strength when dried than older culms. Thedifference between old and new culms gradually diminishesby about 2 ½ years. The moisture content of bamboo causesit to behave like wood in relation to its compressive strengthwhich almost doubles when the green culm is air-dried. 9
  12. 12. About Bamboothe material A variety of sections or splits that are extracted from the culm, each to suit a specifi c purpose.The capacity of the bamboo wall to be split longitudinally within its segment results from the parallel orientation of theconstituent fibres. In the nodes, however, these fi bres cross each other in all directions. These reinforcement nodes withtheir highly silicified diaphragms thus increase the resistance to splitting or bending. The bamboo tissue has no radial fibreorientation. This is why there is no increase in diameter above ground unlike timber structures. The whole section ofbamboo becomes a single annual ring. From mechanics we know that, cylindrical tubes containing the same amount ofmaterial as a solid round bar has four times the rigidity of that bar. 10
  13. 13. the project 11
  14. 14. knock it downBring the bamboo homeDiploma ProjectNishant Wazir 12
  15. 15. IntroductionscenarioBamboo up till now... As a result, the access points for purchase/exchange ofBamboo, a versatile grass, often referred to as ’won- these products are few, and highly specialized, predominantlyder grass’, is found in most parts of India. For ages, – lifestyle brands, NGOs etc.this material has been used to meet day to day living So, in most cases, the product range is high-end, highly priced.needs, with diverse applications. Up till now, bam- Bamboo has the potential to cater to markets which are larger,boo handicrafts and products have existed in very wide-spread, economically viable and utility based.niche-spaces of the urban market. Most people, beit, manufacturers or consumers, are not fully awareof the potential and versatility of this material. This The Opportunitylimit’s the spectrum of possible applications relevantto One of the most well established applications for bamboothe urban scenario. is that of lifestyle products. Of this, furniture holds a very small segment. Bamboo furniture products are not accessible to most people, due the reasons stated above.The Problem Bamboo has now come into the limelight as a sustainable material resource, hence ‘the way forward’. The material isIn the urban scenario, bamboo products occupy being more widely accepted across industries and markets.segments largely in lifestyle product markets. The This is a growing sector where new technologies and market-material has been well established as more than ing methods are being researched, to cater to future industryappropriate for the existing product range. However, and market conditions, while consumers are becoming morefor some time now, the furniture market has aware of ways in which bamboo can cater to their differentremained small, disproportionate to the potential lifestyles.held country wide, both in terms of material What the industry needs now, is innovative production tech-diversity and skill types. niques and marketing methodologies, to expand the bambooFew manufacturers enterprise bamboo products, as market, catering to all socio – economic levels.the market is small. This in turn leads to monopolis-tic market conditions. 13
  16. 16. Knock it downproject methodologyThe ApproachThis project will work towards development of newproduction methods and process for bamboo furni-ture products.Increasing marketability – by incorporating modular-ity for ease of stocking and shipment/delivery, whilekeeping production costs to a minimum. This willenable manufacturer-consumer interaction to takeplace remotely through a select and order exchangechannel.Why Knock-down furnitureKnock-down furniture has certain key qualities thatfavour the goals set by this project :A knock-down piece of furniture comes in parts. This meansthat different components are manufactured separately andeventually packaged together. This allows for production chainsto flexible and optimized.A knock-down piece of furniture is received in parts and as-sembled into full form by the user. This allows the end user tohave some first hand tactile interaction with the material. Thisfeature will help helps to instill a basic understanding of andawarness about the material used, accross a large user base. 14
  17. 17. Knock it downproject methodologyThe ChallengeAs versatile a material as bamboo is, it comes with A production process of this nature is labour intensive, withits own set of challenges, arising from its unique a considerable margin of material wastage. Hence we cancharacteristics. Traditionally used materials like wood deduce...and various metals are standardised to a large extent 1. Bamboo as a raw material is almost impossible tobefore being translated to furniture or other prod- standardize. Standardization is the first step towards costucts. This makes standardization easy, which in turn reduction. It is safe to say that every piece of bamboo ishelps mass manufacture, organized and optimized different from the other.production units and also helps reduce costs. 2. For the very same reason, easily 80% - 85% of the workUnlike wood and metal, bamboo, as a raw material, has to be done manually, by skilled labour. With a processis near impossible to standardize. It is safe to say that that is labour intensive and time intensive to this degree,every single piece of bamboo is different from the costs are bound to be high.other. This also depends, to a large extent, on thetype or species of bamboo. For the reasons explained above, the profit margin forSuch irregularities have to be manually tackled, every bamboo product, furniture in this case, is high. Sincemaking the process time consuming and labour the margins cannot be compromised much for the aboveintensive. This also often results in wastage of reasons, the only way to allow lowering of profit margin permaterial as not all pieces turn out to be suitable and piece, is by producing in larger volumes, such that a evenhave to be discarded. a smaller profit margin per piece will collectively bring in a reasonable amount. The main questions : 1. To what extent can this material be standardized ? 2. How can this standardised avatar of the material be used to produce volumes? 15
  18. 18. Bamboo splitting machine Bamboo knot removal machineBending bamboo splits by applying heat and pressure Bending bamboo splits by applying heat and pressure 16
  19. 19. Knock it downproject methodologyThe Approach1. Bring the material to a form that can be stan-dardised :The bamboo poles are converted into bamboostrips, by splitting and planing to achieve a standardwidth, thickness and length.These process can be carried out mechanically, ma-chines do exist for this purpose.2. The bamboo strips are bent (using heat) andlaminated (using suitable adhesives), into the desir-able form. These forms are simplified and easy toreplicate using identical steel Jigs. 17
  20. 20. Knock it downinitial explorationExploring ‘knock - down’ in generalKnock down stool comprises 5 main pieces, assembled using bamboo pins or screwsKnock down bench comprises 5 main pieces, assembled using bamboo pins or screws 18
  21. 21. Knock it downsplit arch conceptFirst set of sketches for the SPLIT ARCH conceptThe split-arch concept incorporates two modules :1. An arch like structure made from laminated bamboo splits2. A supporting structure, a truss-like frame on which to mount the archesSeveral arches mounted in a row-like arrangement would form a seat. 19
  22. 22. Knock it downwith the artisansFurniture workshop at NID R&D, Bangalore : Joinery 20
  23. 23. Knock it downwith the artisansFurniture workshop at NID R&D, Bangalore : Joinery 21
  24. 24. Knock it downmaterial testsSplitting + bending 22
  25. 25. Knock it downmaterial testsSplitting + bending 23
  26. 26. Knock it downmaterial testsSplitting + bending 24
  27. 27. Knock it downmaterial testsUsing rigidtsteel Jig The steel Jigs evidently provide a well defined shape and form. The extra space between the two strips is cause by irregularity in level and volume at the nodal points. It turns out that the particular species of bamboo used here is not suitable for this process as it comes with many irregularities. The ideal species of bamboo to be used in order to get a good finish is the Balcooa species. Balcooa poles are almost completely straight with a regular surface and almost standard inter-nod- al lengths, as opposed to Bambos, which we are cur- rently using. However, Balcooa will have to sourced from Katlamara plantations in the north east. This is not feasible for the project at this stage as time does not allow it. Also, the material requirement is too small to place an order. For the purpose of prototyping for this project, we will be using Bambos itself. Carefully selected pieces, which are reasonably straight and consistent should do the job in terms of finish consistency. 25
  28. 28. Knock it downsplit arch conceptVariationsAssembly of split arch stoolVariable assembly depending on the form and arrangement of the supporting frame and arch dimensions 26
  29. 29. Knock it downsplit arch conceptThe Problem : Stability The above depictions assume stability of the arch structure. However, on close observation, one can see that at the junction of joining with the arch, the pole frame behaves like a pivot for the otherwise support-less arch to ‘rock’ or ‘sway‘. The arch is rendered unstable. The next step will be to devise a better structure for the supporting frame, one which provides stability to the arch. 27
  30. 30. Knock it downsplit arch conceptSketchesAssembly of split arch stoolVariable assembly depending on the form and arrangement of the supporting frame and arch dimensions 28
  31. 31. Knock it downsplit arch conceptSketchesAssembly of split arch stoolVariable assembly depending on the form and arrangement of the supporting frame and arch dimensions 29
  32. 32. Knock it downsplit arch conceptRevised support frameA two piece support frame, where bamboo arches would be inserted between spacers to prevent ‘sway‘A small scale mock up. 30
  33. 33. Knock it downsplit arch conceptThe Problem : consistency This support frame relies on spacers to provide the structure with rigidity. This structure assumes that all the bamboo arches will be of exactly the same in terms of size, thickness and surface properties. To achieve this level of precision and consistency in an irregular material like bamboo is not possible. The next step will be to incorporate spacers as com- ponents providing rigidity, without requiring too high a level of precision or consistency. 31
  34. 34. Knock it downsplit arch conceptRevised support frameA support frame using poles as well as splitsHere the arches would snap into place onto the pole frame and would have split sections for spacers 32
  35. 35. Knock it downsplit arch conceptThe Problem : cumbersome assembly This design reverts to the pole frame as seen in the first design. However, this pole frame incorporates two penetrating tie members instead of one (top right). This greatly reduces the ‘pivot‘ effect. This design also incorporates flat split bamboo sections as spacers (left), which would fit into grooves created along the edge of the arch. This design has too many components assemble. There are too many detailed components. The ‘consistency‘ persists. 33
  36. 36. Knock it downsplit arch conceptRevised modulesArch module incorporating 3 arches clubbed together.Here the three arches are permanently fixed together, held by a flat bamboo split section 34
  37. 37. Knock it downsplit arch conceptThe new module This design addresses the basic problem that has been recurring through the previous designs i.e. stability This design incorporates a revised arch module. Here, three arches are clubbed together as one mod- ule. The expansion that occurs in the base (x3) not only provides rigidity and stability, but also re- duces the impact and load borne by each arch when used as furniture to sit on. All designs from hereon will use the new (x3) three arch module. 35
  38. 38. Knock it downsplit arch conceptRevised (x3) designThree arch module. Incorporates solid bamboo poles as tie members and hollow bamboo sections as spacersAdd-ons can be incorporated, e.g. arm rest, back rest. The add-ons would be fixed in place of spacers 36
  39. 39. Knock it downsplit arch conceptNew features : add-onsThe Problem : consistency, stability Though this design does incorporate the new add-on feature, the additional loops on the arches pose a problem regarding consistency. The absence of a tie member between the two ‘arms‘ of the arches creates the possibility of the arms sliding/growing apart with repeated use, with the load and impact coming from above. This poses a problem with stability. 37
  40. 40. Knock it downsplit arch conceptSolid pole frame + (x3) arch moduleOne piece rigid pole frameArch arms are forced closer and pushed into frame from above. When released, the arms snap into place. 38
  41. 41. Knock it downsplit arch conceptThe Problem : bulky components, tension in arches not contained This design attempts a simplified approach - using fixed solid bamboo pole frames on which to mount the arch modules. The solid bamboo frame is too bulky. This defeats the purpose of knock down furniture, as it does not aid optimized utility of space. The arch arms experience a high ‘push and pull’ ten- sion between the top and bottom of the frame. After a point, the slightest shift or force from be- neath or sliding of arches on the top section may cause the arches to be launched off the frame. 39
  42. 42. Knock it downsplit arch conceptSolid pole and split frame + (x3) arch moduleSupport frame using solid bamboo poles as well as bent laminated bamboo splitsArch arms are forced closer and pushed into frame from above. When released, the arms snap into place. 40
  43. 43. Knock it downsplit arch conceptThe Problem : complex forms, tension in arched not contained Though this design is aesthetically exciting, it uses very complex forms. These forms are possible to achieve using bamboo splits, but again demand too high a level of consistency. This will also be labour intensive. The arch arms experience a high ‘push and pull’ ten- sion between the top and bottom of the frame. After a point, the slightest shift or force from beneath or sliding of arches on the top section may cause the arches to be launched off the frame. 41
  44. 44. Knock it downsplit arch conceptCollapsible pole frame + (x3) arch module with locksCollapsible solid bamboo pole frame with modified (x3) arch module, incorporating locksArch arms are forced closer and pushed into frame from above. When released, the arms snap into place. 42
  45. 45. Knock it downsplit arch concept This design uses a collapsible X frame made using solid bamboo poles. This design uses a modified version of the (x3) arch module, incorporating solid bamboo pole sections as locks. The arches are force fitted from above. When released, the solid pole sections on the arch arms, find their place between the lower middle tie members of the X frame. This locking mechanism ensures that the arches will not be launched off the frame, unless forced manually, with the same action as applied when assembling. 43
  46. 46. Knock it downsplit arch conceptCollapsible pole frame + (x3) arch module with locksCollapsible solid bamboo pole frame can be varied in lengthAdd-ons like a back rest can be installed using an additional lock 44
  47. 47. Knock it downsplit arch conceptAdded feature : customization This design also has a new provision for add-on features such as a back rest. The add on can be installed by manually force-fitting from the top. The bottom locks in using the same mechanism as the arch modules. An additional lock is installed on the top section of the X frame, running across the length, above the arch modules. 45
  48. 48. Knock it downsplit arch conceptThe verdictThe ‘strip arch’ concept aimed at creating designs for knock down furniture which is modular in nature, to be assembledusing a few simple steps. The ‘strip arch + support frame’ designs went through various stages, constantly tackling flaws andproblem areas as they arose along the way. Eventually, the technical problems were all solved and the design was theoretically‘working’. However, in the process, the design lost its simplicity and the desired aesthetics had been compromised to a largeextent. Simplicity of assembly, form appeal and approachability of the design were key criteria to determine the feasibilityof investing time, labour and funds in prototyping and production. Since it failed to sufficiently satisfy these criteria, it wasdecided that the ‘strip arch’ concept would not be taken forward to the prototyping stage. 46
  49. 49. Knock it downknockables, stackables and bambooFirst set of sketches for the ‘knockable, stackables and bamboo’ conceptKnock - down Furniture : A piece of furniture which is received in parts (components) and assembled by the user. Once as-sembled, the final piece of furniture is permanently fixed. It is not necessarily “collapsible“. The furniture can be dismantled,with the use of a basic and common tool like a screwdriver.This concept emphasized on creating knock-down furniture using forms that are easy to integrate into an ‘assembly line’ typeof production method.All finished components will be stackable - for ease of stocking and transportation.These components can come together in different configurations to form a complete piece of furniture which too will bestackable as a whole.The designs will incorporate modularity and scalability as integral qualities to aid expansive production and marketing meth-ods. 47
  50. 50. Knock it downknockables, stackables and bambooFurther exploring formStackable assembled furnitureEasy to replicate, stackable forms 48
  51. 51. Knock it downknockables, stackables and bambooFurther exploring formStackable assembled furnitureEasy to replicate, stackable forms 49
  52. 52. Knock it downknockables, stackables and bambooFinalized formStackable assembled furnitureEasy to replicate, stackable forms 50
  53. 53. Knock it downknockables, stackables and bambooFinalized form 51
  54. 54. Knock it downknockables, stackables and bambooFinalized form All details of joints and joiner depicted here are subject to change. While working with hands-on with the material, deci- sions will be taken regarding suitability of joinery. 52
  55. 55. prototypeproduction 53
  56. 56. Knock it downprototype productionTreatmentProper treatment of bamboo is essential for longevity of the material, making it immune to insects and fungus (the primereasons for decay and short lifespan)The method of treatment used here involves soaking the bamboo poles / splits in a solution of water and boric acid for aperiod of 3 to 4 days.This process rids the bamboo of all sugar and lactose content, making it immune to fungus and insects such as termites andants. After soaking, the bamboo must be naturally dried in the sun before it is ready for use. 54
  57. 57. Knock it downprototype productionThe ToolsLeft to Right : The Dao, Chisels, Files, Hacksaw Left to Right : LPG flame blower, G-Clamps 55
  58. 58. Knock it downprototype productionSplittingThe splitting of bamboo poles and thinning of splits here is done manually using basic tools like the hatchet and the dao 56
  59. 59. Knock it downprototype productionBendingBending of splits is done by applying heat and pressure simultaneously, along a profile with the help of jigsThe Jigs :A modular system of JIgs has been used here.This includes steel rings of varying diameters and a board on which to arrange themMild (MS) steel rings An MS ring held to plywood board using a screw 57
  60. 60. Knock it downprototype productionBendingArranging MS rings to create Jig :The steel rings are placed on top of a full scale drawing of the bending profile, and checked for selection of the correctsizes, suitable for achieving an accurate bend along the specific bending radius (as depicted in the profile)Selecting the right sized rings aginst full scale bend- Arranging the MS rings in a configuration suitable toing profile achieve the required curve 58
  61. 61. Knock it downprototype productionBendingBending along the JigsThe bamboo splits are bent by applying heat and pressure simultaneously, to key sections, along the layout of the Jig.G-clamps are used to hold bent section in place to avoid warping.Using this method of bending, several splits can be bent in to a similar profile using fixed Jigs, making replication easy.Applying heat while pulling the split to bend along G-Clamps being used to hold the bent segment inthe Jig place while it cools 59
  62. 62. Knock it downprototype productionSmoothingCleaning charred skin :After bending, the surface of the split is cleaned and smoothened using simple tools like the file, the dao and the chicsel.This procedure can also be carried out on a rotating sanding machine.Smoothing the inside surface using a file Removing the burnt skin using a dao 60
  63. 63. Knock it downprototype productionLaminationClubbing multiple splits togetherThe process of lamination involves the application of epoxy glue (e.g. areldite) and clamping the bent section together.After clamping, this assembly left undisturbed for a period long enough to allow the adhesive to dry.Bent splits being held together after application of Bent splits being held together after application ofepoxy glue - Areldite epoxy glue - Areldite 61
  64. 64. Knock it downprototype productionBending + LaminationThis particular Design incorporates 3 laminated splits for each individual component (for strength and rigidity)The result of Bending and Lamination 3 splits each for all the profile is shown below :Main profiles for lower section - each profile com- Main profiles for seat and backrest - each profileprises 3 laminated splits - these are stackable comprises 3 laminated strips - these are stackable 62
  65. 65. Knock it downprototype productionBending + LaminationPreparing profilesThis particular Design incorporates 3 laminated splits for each individual component (for strength and rigidity)The result of Bending and Lamination 3 splits each for all the profile is shown below :Main profiles for lower section - each profile com- Main profiles for seat and backrest - each profileprises 3 laminated splits - these are stackable comprises 3 laminated strips - these are stackable 63
  66. 66. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for lower section archesCreating hole for insertion of bamboo pin Applying adhesive 64
  67. 67. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for lower section archesPreparing bamboo pin for insertion Inserting bamboo pin (force fit) 65
  68. 68. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for lower section archesFully inserted bamboo pin Fully inserted bamboo pin 66
  69. 69. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyInserting tie-members for lower section arches Creating slots for insertion of tie member 67
  70. 70. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyInserting tie-members for lower section arches Slot for insertion of tie member 68
  71. 71. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyInserting tie-members for lower section arches Junction being held by G-Clamps while adhesive dries 69
  72. 72. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for backrest profiles Creating half lap cuts in backrest profile 70
  73. 73. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for backrest profiles Creating half lap cuts in backrest profile 71
  74. 74. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for backrest profiles Creating half lap cuts in backrest profile 72
  75. 75. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for backrest profiles Gluing backrest profiles to tie member 73
  76. 76. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for backrest profiles Joint reinforced with bamboo pin 74
  77. 77. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAttaching tie members for backrest profiles Gluing backrest profiles to tie member 75
  78. 78. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAdjustments : spacing and alignment of backrest profilesTemporary brace Checking measurements for spacing 76
  79. 79. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAdjustments : spacing and alignment of backrest profilesPositioning external members for align- Clamping after application of adhesivement 77
  80. 80. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAdjustments : spacing and alignment of backrest profilesJoint reinforced with bamboo pins 78
  81. 81. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAdjustments : levelingLeveling bottom end of backrest Leveling bottom end of backrestprofiles profiles 79
  82. 82. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyAdjustments : levelingPositioning external member for align- Joint reinforced with bamboo pinment 80
  83. 83. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyFixing screw inserts on bottom section frameScrews with washers and inserts Screw insert to be embedded in tie member 81
  84. 84. Knock it downprototype productionAssemblyFixing screw inserts on bottom section frameCreating holes to embed inserts Applying adhesive to insert 82
  85. 85. Knock it downprototype productionFixing screw inserts on bottom section frameInserting screw-insert into the tie members while screwing from the top, throughthe backrest tie member 83
  86. 86. Knock it downprototype productionFinishingFinal touchesFinal stage of smoothing using sandpaper and a handheld grinding machine 84
  87. 87. Knock it downprototype productionPolishingFinal touchesApplying a coating of wax polish to lend a glossy texture, while maintaining the natural look 85
  88. 88. Knock it downprototype productionThe finished piece 86
  89. 89. Knock it downprototype productionThe finished piece 87
  90. 90. Knock it downprototype productionCost analysisRaw material was sourced and sponsored by meBamboo Rs. 600Bamboo procurement Rs. 800Prototype production was carried out at Sangaru Design Objects Pvt. Ltd., BangaloreOverheads:Gas, adhesive, electricity Rs. 1500Labour:2 persons X Rs. 250/day X 10 days Rs. 5000*As is evident from the difference in raw material cost and procurement cost, it is very important to have a good system inplace for sourcing and procurement of material*The adhesive used here is ‘Areldite’. This costs approximately Rs. 200 per 100gms. For a larger scale of production, cheaperalternatives can be used (epoxy glue of any kind) 88
  91. 91. Knock it downmy critiqueAesthetics Aesthetics seem to be nice on the whole The chair appears to have good proportions Tie members at the top and bottom ends of the seat-backrest seem to be obstructing an otherwise streamlined look Some of the bamboo split ties members could per- haps be replaced with steel pipes. This would give the chair a more contemporary look. 89
  92. 92. Knock it downmy critiqueErgonomics The backrest should be more inclined, the current position is too up right. The current incline on the back rest is 10 degrees. This could be increased to 20 degrees. Alternately, 2 instead of 3 laminated splits could be used to create back rest profiles. This will allow some flex and actions in the back rest. The seat is too short. The current seating depth is 36cm. This should be increased to 40/42cm. The seating height too is a little bit more than it ide- ally should be. Perhaps 5cm lower would be more comfortable. The seat is currently straight, at almost 180 degrees. A slight dip towards the back end of the seat will be more comfortable. The tie member in front of the bottom section is hindering to the legs. Perhaps more rigid steel tie members along the profile could allow us to do away with the from tie member altogether. 90
  93. 93. Knock it downconclusionReflectionsThe final concept - knockables, stackables and bamboo, has achieved the goals set by this project. This concept uses bambooin an unconventional avatar, one that can be standardised to a large extent. This allows for mass production and cost control,which in turn enables the contemporary bamboo markets to expand. An increased market space for these products has adirect effect on craftsmen and artisan communities, providing them with more work and exposing them to a fresh approachto the material. From hereon, they now have an extended workspace to translate their deep understanding and experience ofthe material.In working first hand with artisans, I find that design intervention has a catalytic effect. Working with designers, constantlytrying new approaches, craftsmen and artisans begin an exploratory phase themselves and knowingly or unknowingly beginto apply design thinking. Given their strong foundation in the use of the material, this enables them to think on fresh lines,evolving their traditions, perhaps even developing indigenous techniques and technology. All this contributes to the coremission of propagating the use of bamboo in a way that its is socially, economically and ecologically viable, profitable andprogressive for all those involved.This project has been carried out on a very small scale. The aim has been to set an example and showcase a few of the manypossibilities bamboo offers the urban industry, markets and lifestyles. The up scaling of such production methods can have astrong impact on markets, livelihoods, traditions as well as the environment.The production of the the prototype for this project has been labour intensive as one single product prototype is not motiveenough to encourage heavy investment in mechanized systems. However, most of the processes involved can be mechanizedusing existing technology.Responsible material sourcing is as important , if not more, than design application. Bamboo is a highly sustainable resourcewith many environmental and ecological benefits. Using bamboo to replace other, less sustainable materials is a move for-ward, but plantation exercises are all important. If we do not invest time money and energy in plantation, proportionately toincrease in applications, we will be back to naturally occurring forests for resources and all will be lost. As a designer, I havetaken the position of a small catalyst. With this project, I hope to provide a look into what I see as a bright future with mainstreamed bamboo. 91
  94. 94. BibliographyBooks Websites and blogs• Bamboo- the gift of the gods - Oscar Hidalgo - • Lopez •• Bamboo and Cane crafts of Northeast India • -Ranjan, M P., Iyer Nilam, Pandya Ghanshyam, • • documents • •• Lifestyle accessory in Bamboo - Rajive Jassal • PGDPD, NID •• Furniture Design for Tripura Bamboo Mission - Garima Aggarwal PGDPD, NID• Bamboo Product Development for Tripua Bam- boo Mission - Andrea Noronha PGDPD, NID• Bamboo Product Development & Entrepreneurial Workshops - Outreach Programmes, Centre For Bamboo Initiatives, NID 92
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