Linda Garland is considered one of the pioneers of modern bamboo architecture. Born in Ireland, she began incorporating bamboo into her work as an interior designer in the 1970s after spending time in Indonesia, where bamboo can be found interwoven in the lifestyle there.
She went on to create the Environmental Bamboo Foundation in order to both promote bamboo as an alternative material and to replenish deforested lands with bamboo. Later on, with the help of Professor Walter Liese, the foundation developed treatment methods to preserve bamboo.
Garland's friend, John Hardy, stepped into the bamboo space, moved by her work. In 2007 he and an entire team created and built the Green School entirely from bamboo. The school is an academic institution educating students from pre-kindergarten to high school on the importance of nature and living sustainably.
John Hardy's daughter, Elora Hardy, is a sustainable designer and serves as the creative director of Ibuku, an architecture and design studio. She founded Ibuku in 2010 with the goal of expanding the evolution of bamboo construction. The bamboo Ibuku uses is harvested from the mountains of Java and Bali, where new shoots of bamboo grow each year.
The Ibuku team and Elora Hardy have developed a variety of uniquely designed homes in the Green Village, a collection of houses and villas that followed after the Green School. Both artful and functional, the structures are open concept with glass windows and still incorporate the modern utilities of electricity, air conditioning, and running water. The structures are estimated to last at least 100 years, thanks to a process that extracts sugar from the bamboo, keeping insects and bugs away from consuming the plant.
The company even garnered the attention of AppleTV and was featured in an episode of the original series, Home. Debuting in 2021, the docu-series highlights groundbreaking homes around the world. Media attention at this level is evidence that forward-thinking companies and the sustainable products they create are guaranteed to capture the attention of consumers. As long as leaders like the Hardy family continue down the path of conscious creation and innovation, the earth may have a better chance at providing lasting life for its inhabitants.