All posts tagged: China

From Yuhang Rong Design Library

Incredible bamboo design in China at the Design Library

I went to China to speak in December. This conference I went to was in the middle of bamboo land in China. It was incredible to speak there. Many people in audience had never seen a real bamboo building. I also visited and spoke at the From Yuhang Rong Design Library. Incredible space and cool people. In their words: “FROM YUHANG RONG DESIGN LIBRARY” is built by PINWU Design Studio and Yuhang Government in Hangzhou China. It focuses on Chinese traditional handcraft research and each material deconstruction from the craft. The Library offers designers Chinese traditional materials such as bamboo, paper, clay, porcelain, copper, silver, silk, etc. Remains of ancient Chinese folk culture are still to be found, hidden in villages. Library is passionate collecting the knowledge from the old craftsman. They are doing wonderful things with bamboo and natural materials, like this lamp of bamboo paper. Clay top tables- completely organic. When you touch it, you’re in heaven. Curved tops. Reusable cups in the old enamelware style. Bamboo lamps made with bamboo paper. Award-winning paper pulp …

Bamboo load

The future of bamboo is happening in China

I’ve had to create three blog posts just to chronicle all the amazing bamboo innovation and design I saw in China.  They really are using this grass to its full potential there.  A few of the other things I saw while I was there, including a visit to a bamboo lumber factory, live bamboo fountaining wine and a visit to the Craft Museum of China. Bamboo Lumber Factory We visited a gigantic bamboo lumber factory- all the photos below are products made out of pressed bamboo. Huge amounts of bamboo being carbonized to get rid of the sugar (and the pests). They turn in into miles of lumber and planks. Raw bamboo I found them burning the offcuts for power and suggested they make them into shingles. They even decorated their gigantic factory with a very small bamboo grove. Living Bamboo Wine Fountain We went to a bamboo grove which had graffiti. All different paintings. Even more crazy was when these guys showed up. They drilled holes in living bamboo and started serving bamboo wine! The …

China's round earthen houses

How to build a tiger proof house

John went to visit the earthen round houses of Yuchang. Amazing houses, closed on the outside with no windows until the 3rd floor because of stories of tigers coming into the houses and killing people. -JH From the Wikipedia page: Yuchanglou (裕昌樓) is a five-storey tulou located at Nanjing County, Shuyang Town, Xiabanliao Village. It was built in 1308 Yuan dynasty by the Liu family clan. It is one of the oldest and tallest tulou in China. Yuchanglou has been nicknamed the “zigzag building”, because the vertical wooden post structure is not straight and perpendicular, but zigzags left and right. It was built that way due to an error measuring the building materials. But in spite of this apparent infirmity, this tall tulou withstood 700 years of natural elements and social turmoil.   Yuchanglou’s outer ring is 36 m in diameter and boasts five storeys, with 50 rooms on each floor, 270 in total. Each of the 25 kitchens on the ground floor at the back half of the circle has a private water well beside its …

China travels

Travels in China with the Sustainable Rural Construction Forum

It was a shock to be invited to speak at a conference on rural sustainability in a small village in China, but I was strangely drawn toward it coming from a small village myself. When I arrived, it was beyond expectations. I was lost to the stereotype many people have of big cities and the idea that China is ‘gone’. China is far from gone. There are villages with a hundred houses and only 8 families left. I visited one of these places, but now people have moved in and are building libraries and restaurants; there is so much opportunity to get out of the big, ugly cities and move back to these amazing old buildings that are still there as are other things. The Chinese people are hungry to get back to the country. I was shown pictures of other villages I didn’t visit that made me dream. One is a two hour walk to reach; only 8 of 80 houses are inhabited. It’s an opportunity to inhabit these villages with new ideas, with organic agriculture, …

READ: Clean energy? Some disturbing facts and figures – by The Green Asia Group

Solar panels … A factory in China must burn more than 40kg of coal to produce a solar panel – one metre by 1.5 metres. China’s least efficient coal-fired power plant would generate 130 kilowatt-hours of electricity burning that amount – enough power to keep a 22 watt LED lightbulb beaming 12 hours a day for 30 years. A solar panel is designed to last just 20 years. It is estimated it takes 10kg of polysilicon to produce a solar panel with a capacity of one kilowatt – just enough to generate the energy !o keep a fridge cool for a day. Many consumers, as well as corporations, in developed countries are buying mainland made solar panels in the belief that using them will help slow the pace of global warming. Demand for solar panels has risen rapidly in the past few years, creating a US$100-billion a year market for panels and related industrial materials. Five years ago, China’s mainland production of polysilicon – the key component of solar panels was negligible. Last year it …