Materials in Design: Bamboo

What is Bamboo?

Bamboo is a type of grass which has become a popular material choice in recent years. Driven by the worldwide sustainability need, our clients are seeking materials in their designs with ethical principles and lower carbon footprints. Bamboo is a unique material which can meet these requirements. It is one of the fastest growing grass plants in the world requiring very little water which makes it an incredibly renewable material and a sustainable choice in product design. The iconic natural aesthetic of bamboo communicates these benefits in a very visible and consumer appreciative format which can also have huge marketing potential for our clients. Often the uniqueness and sustainable aspects with eco connotations of the material can be pushed in the marketing of a new product launch to promote the brand as being both ethical and environmentally conscious.

How does it affect the design process?

At Centreline we pride ourselves on using our experience of manufacturing to ensure the conceptual directions from our design team are always appropriate in terms of cost effective mass production. For natural materials like bamboo this often demands a back and forth between our design and manufacturing teams. This is due to the different production processes they require in order for the right balance to be struck between manufacturability and conscious environmentally focused design.

We strive to push the boundaries in our designs and challenge conventions to elevate the limits of what can be achieved with material processing, creating unique and market leading products. This is particularly notable with bamboo, as over the years we have explored

Kerf bending, CNC machining, press forming, turning, laminating, bending and more.

What are its aesthetic qualities?

  • Bamboo has a clean, linear grain

  • Every product is unique

  • A light subtle hue

  • Takes finishes well

Our use of bamboo and its unique properties, can be seen on the Toyota Keybox project spotlight: