Bamboo U: with Ibuku and The AA School of Architecture

This course has past already.
Click here to find out more about our upcoming Bamboo U Course this November 11 – 21st, 2017.

BambooU(niversity) was an idea originally conceived to help teach professionals about the potential of bamboo as a green building material. In its current form it is a design and build workshop hosted by the Kul Kul Farm at the Green School Bali; facilitated in collaboration with the bamboo design firm, Ibuku and structural engineering firm, Atelier One. Immersed within the Green School structures, this AA Visiting School is a unique opportunity to design and build with bamboo in parallel to proposing a masterplan for BambooU. The group will investigate the available sites and work with Elora Hardy from Ibuku, the design firm that built the Green School, and benefit from a range of global experts including Green School co- founder John Hardy, who will inform the process.

Along with the development of a BambooU master plan, participants will engage in a series of on-site workshops and the group will experience first-hand the potential of bamboo. A couple of days will be spent modeling and the bulk remainder of the time will be given over to building 1:1 structures with guidance from skilled local craftsman. Interspersed will be talks/discussions about the approach to sustainability by the Bamboo U team and guest speakers including Julia King, Dr We-Shau Chang and others. Participants will leave with an expanded, cutting edge view of bamboo architecture. They will understand the life cycle of bamboo from being a seedling to a home, and will gain key insights into the gifts and challenges of what it takes to build in bamboo. Finally participants will have the opportunity to contribute to the expansion of Bamboo U the newest endeavor at Green School.


Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed
• Engage with engineers and scientists about the potential and limitations of bamboo
• Workshops on making with bamboo and large scale prototyping
• Critical theoretical knowledge about bamboo
• Design and making skills
• Understanding the design process from conception to construction
• Engineering principles
• Hands on experience building a bamboo structure
• Exploring The Green school as an exemplar for bamboo structures

Special Guest Speakers

John Bamboo U

John Hardy graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design, set off to travel the world and settled in Bali. In 1975, he started a small jewelry business that grew into an international company.  In 2007, John stopped working in the company to dedicate his time on advocating for and building a more sustainable world through education and design.  As his first major project, he and his wife Cynthia conceived and created the Green School in Bali, Indonesia to deliver pioneering education for the future. The uniqueness of the school lies in the integration of traditional subjects, creative arts and green studies wrapped in rich layers of experiential, environmental, and entrepreneurial learning. John spoke at TED Global about the Green School and the USGBC awarded the school with the 2012 Greenest School on Earth award.  Today, the school has a student body of approximately 275 from over 40 countries. In addition to the Green School, in 2009, John teamed up with his daughter Elora to create award winning Green Village and Ibuku. Collaborating on their combined 45 years experience in art and design, long interest in architecture and focus on working with regenerative and adaptable materials, the companies are setting out to establish new design vocabulary, construction techniques and engineering standards for bamboo residences, hotels, public buildings, interiors and furnishings.

Elora Hardy Bamboo UElora Hardy is the creative director of Ibuku. She leads a team of skilled artisans, architects, engineers, and designers to create homes, structures, and interiors crafted of bamboo. Raised on the beautiful island of Bali, Elora was inspired by the highly skilled local craftsmen as well as her parents’ talented jewelry designs. She spent 14 years of her young adult life in the United States, where she received a degree in fine arts and went on to New York City to design prints for Donna Karan that would walk the world’s runways.  In 2010, Elora left her successful career in the fashion world to carry on the incredible work of the design-build team that created the world-renowned Green School in Bali, founded by her father John Hardy.

She reconnected with the culture and landscape that she loves and today continues to cultivate Balinese artisans alongside innovative designers and architects with the goal of making Bali a global center for sustainable design and bringing those designs to the rest of the world.

Elora spoke at TED Global in 2015 and this year at C2 Montreal about building and designing with bamboo.


arief bamboo uArief Rabik is a Bali -based environmental scientist specializing in bamboo. His company, Indobamboo, makes some of the strongest beams and bamboo products in the world. Arief’s mother Linda Garland, set up the Environmental Bamboo Foundation in 1993. Arief is now the legal Director of the foundation. Together with his colleagues, Ben Brown and several others Arief wrote the first curriculum for  field school for bamboo”, as well as created the first incentivized community based bamboo forestry management system in Indonesia. Last year, Arief had the great honor of being part of Indonesia’s delegation to COP21 in Paris, France. Arief spoke on the importance of Indonesia in contributing to the global supply of bamboo and how valuable this industry is to slowing the effects of climate change.

To download the presentation he gave at COP21, click hereArief also recently launched a book on bamboo called ‘Towards Resilient Bamboo Forestry’.

Programme Directors
Orin Hardy is the director of gardens at Ibuku and founder of Kul Kul Farm, Green School, Bali. He combines international expertise with local knowledge. Raised in a Balinese village he studied regenerative design, permaculture, and ecological sustainability at The Evergreen State College in the USA. His work supports people in realizing sustainable systems and promotes the importance of permaculture design, organic agriculture, natural building and ecological living.

Neil Thomas is the Founder & Director of Atelier One, which has been described as ‘the most Innovative Engineering Practice in the UK’ specializing in challenging projects. Recently Neil was elected Royal Designer for Industry (2014), received an Honorary RIBA fellowship (2014), awarded Fellow of the Institute of Structural Engineers (2015) and most recently honoured with an MBE on the Queens 90th Birthday for contributions to Architecture, Design and Engineering.

Bali Coordinators
John Hardy
Maria Farrugia
Maggie Lyons

Applications and Fees

This is course is now fully booked! We are planning our next bamboo course for September 2017, please email us with your interest, and we will place you on our list for next year.

All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After payment of fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.

The workshop is open to everyone. No specific software requirements.

The Kul Kul Farm atGreen School Bali, Jalan Raya Sibang Kaja, Banjar Saren, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung Bali, 80352, Indonesia

All Bamboo U participants will be staying at The Kul Kul Farm. Accommodations are charming and rustic either in shared natural canvas tents (1 tent sleeps 2 to 4ppl), or an option to upgrade to a bamboo bunkhouse. Bunkhouse rooms are also shared with one other person. Both options incl composting toilets and hot outdoor showers.

* If you are a couple, or would rather have a private room or tent please email and we will try our best to accommodate you.

bamboo workshop bali


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