About Bamboo U

About Bamboo U

Bamboo U was an idea conceived by John Hardy to help teach people about the potential of bamboo as a green building material. The program was founded in 2015 in collaboration with IBUKU by Orin Hardy and Maria Farrugia. The intention is to share unique design and construction knowledge and to explore alternative ways of building.

We believe that in a resource intensive modern era, sustainability should be placed at the center of our creative processes.

A new generation of designers, architects and engineers are striving to reconnect their expertise to nature by bringing together tradition with innovation, theory with practice, and sustainability with durability. We aim at training people to design beautiful and functional buildings.

A brief history of our bamboo world

Bamboo has had a long tradition as a building material in Indonesia. In the 1980s, Linda Garland pioneered the bamboo movement, attracting international attention with her innovative home and furniture designs. She worked at spreading the knowledge of new treatment methods to preserve the bamboo and prolong its life.

Linda’s vision inspired John Hardy to encourage a greater interest in bamboo. He soon came to regard this giant wild grass as the future of sustainable building. Since 2006, John Hardy and IBUKU have built over 100 bamboo structures, both in Bali and abroad.

Bamboo U History

The John Hardy jewelry showroom–a beautiful bamboo structure designed by architect Cheong Yew Kuan, using giant bamboo “dendrocalamus asper”, locally known as ‘bambu petung’.


Realization of the Three Mountains building and Green School–an all bamboo campus conceived by John and Cynthia Hardy, built with master carpenter Jörg Stamm and designer Aldo Landwehr.


Elora Hardy founds IBUKU, a design firm exploring groundbreaking ways of using bamboo for construction. With her team of architects and carpenters, they completed the first Green Village house.


Orin Hardy and Maria Farrugia launch Bamboo U to continue pushing the limits of bamboo and architecture.




John is a master at combining beauty, design and sustainability. He brought his creative genius to new heights with the building of Green School’s all bamboo campus. John spoke at TED Global about the Green School and was later awarded the Greenest School on Earth award by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2012.


Founder and creative director at IBUKU, Elora designs world class bamboo homes and structures that are changing the way we think about buildings. She spoke at TED Global in 2015 and this year at the C2 Montreal about her bamboo building and design experiences.


Originally a master carpenter in Germany, Jörg started working with bamboo alongside Simón Velez in Colombia, where he now resides. He is credited for building the longest bamboo bridges in the world and for developing the reciprocal bamboo towers used to hold up Green School’s largest building–The Heart of School.

Neil Thomas Atelier One Structure Engineer Bamboo U Facilitator


MIT professor and lead engineer at Atelier One, Neil is a lightweight tensile engineer. He has worked on major projects including Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Anish Kapoor’s sculptures, and the Rolling Stones concert stages. His interest in bamboo resides in the sustainability and tensile properties of the material.

Ewe Jin Ibuku Lead Architect Bamboo Build Construction Bamboo Architecture Workshop Bali


Former lead architect at IBUKU, Ewe Jin comes from a conventional architecture background in Australia. His devotion to bamboo has inspired him to become an ambassador of renewable natural materials.


Trained in environmental sciences, Arief is considered as the world’s top bamboo forestry and harvesting expert. He founded Indobamboo and aims at combining production with community development. He is a member of the Indonesian delegation for COP 21, 22 and 23.

Scott Vandervoort Bamboo U Facilitator Design


Having taught 3D design at Pratt Institute in New York for over 15 years, Scott has lectured internationally on form making and runs training workshops on abstract visualization techniques in developing hand eye coordination. Scott now lives and works in Bali where he fell in love with bamboo while making time for his own sculpture and 2D mixed media works.


Moko is a master carpenter trained in the Balinese tradition since the age of 10 and has since trained many carpenters. He is head of bamboo plank production at PT Bamboo Pure.


Senior Architect at IBUKU and a member of the team since 2008, Defit has worked on the design of Green School since its original conceptual process, making him an expert in the evolution of bamboo structures.


Based in California, Penny is a permaculture designer and an earthen building expert. By combining this knowledge together with bamboo she strives at extending the material’s potential to the temperate regions of the world.

The Bamboo U Team



Orin Hardy’s work with Bamboo is a natural extension of his interest in the environment, and his work as a Permaculture designer. He has designed a variety of bamboo structures in collaboration with architects and bamboo carpenters as part of his work in Bali. Orin graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington USA with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. With Bamboo U Orin aims to inspire people around the world to choose bamboo as a viable alternative to conventional construction materials.



After graduating from the McGill School of Architecture, Jules spent some time in Brazil where he developed knowledge in bio-construction. His focus on bamboo was inspired by the German master builder Jörg Stamm, whom brought him to Indonesia as an apprentice. He joined Bamboo U in 2017.