Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness

Visit Kengo Kuma's experiment in the concept of weaving.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Saturday, 14 – Sunday, 22 September 2019

  • The John Madejski Garden

  • Free event

Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness photo

Bamboo Ring is an experiment in the concept of weaving, one of the interests explored by Kengo Kuma - who has most recently designed the V&A Dundee, his first building in the UK, along with the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Great (Bamboo) Wall house in China.

Inspired by the John Madejski Garden and curated by Clare Farrow, the doughnut-shaped structure – like a nest or cocoon – has been created by weaving rings of bamboo and carbon fibre together. For Kuma, working with Ejiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, the installation is an exploration of pliancy, precision, lightness and strength: by pulling two ends, it naturally de-forms and half of the woven structure is lifted into the air.

Bamboo has been used traditionally in Japanese architecture in part due to its linearity and flexibility, and as a symbol of strength and rapid growth. The basic component of the structure – a 2m-diameter ring – is made from strips of the bamboo Phyllostachys edulis. By combining carbon fibre, a contemporary material, with the ancient material of bamboo and laminating each ring, the resulting effect achieves a certain rigidity while maintaining the unique material properties and beauty of bamboo – a remarkable, sustainable material that resonates with Kuma’s childhood memories and looks into the future of architecture.

Bamboo (竹) Ring, or ‘Take-wa 竹わ’, has the ambition to become a catalyst for weaving people and place together.

In Partnership with OPPO

Further Support by Komatsu Matere and ANA (All Nippon Airways)

Pop-Up Poetry: LionHeart and Kengo Kuma
On Sunday 15 September, 10.30-11am, Poet LionHeart will be joined by architect and designer of Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness for a live poetry performance inspired by the piece. The performance will take place in the John Madejski Garden alongside Bamboo (竹) Ring.

Part of the London Design Festival 2019 at the V&A.


Header image: Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness by Kengo Kuma and Associates.