Building a Bamboo Umbrella Lamp

Bamboo U - Bamboo Umbrella by Harshita Sharma

Join me on a journey of conceptualization, contemplation, and the crafting process as I guide you through the creation of a collapsible bamboo lamp in the Bamboo U Build and Design course.

Design, Idea, Concept, and Inspiration

The concept behind this lamp was to create a design incorporating hyperbolas, drawing inspiration from an umbrella mechanism. This enables manual control over the level of illumination by opening and closing the hyperbolic flaps.

The goal was to design a lamp that could be easily disassembled for storage when not in use, providing convenience in carrying it.

BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Bamboo Lamp - Hypar
BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Bamboo Lamp (1)

Building the Lamp

I began the project by sketching a simple idea and consulting with Mokko, our station master carpenter, to identify the appropriate bamboo species for each component. Different bamboo varieties were chosen based on factors such as thickness, strength, and color. For instance, Gigantochloa hasskarliana was selected for the movable part, Phyllostachys aurea locally called bamboo pancing (because it is been used for fishing rods) for the core part, Gigantochloa atriviolacea for the base, and bamboo sticks for the flaps.

BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Bamboo Lamp in Making - Cutting bamboo pole
BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Assembling Bamboo Lamp (5)

The process commenced with the building of a small prototype to understand the mechanism. Subsequently, I crafted the hyperbolic flaps using bamboo sticks and elastic bands. The core part, movable parts, and base were then meticulously constructed using a knife, chisel, and hammer.At last, all the pieces were assembled using the fishing string.

BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Assembling Bamboo Lamp (4)
BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Assembling Bamboo Lamp (3)

Challenges and Learning

The most challenging aspect of this project was the need to determine the entire mechanism and dimensions within a tight timeframe of just 4 days. I aimed to keep the design as simple as possible, emphasizing manual operations using the available tools, materials, and time constraints. Overcoming this challenge was made possible with the valuable assistance from Moko and other skilled carpenters.

Witnessing the various pieces come together and observing the mechanisms in action, even if not achieving the intended perfection, proved to be the most rewarding part of this project.

BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Assembling Bamboo Lamp (6)
BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Bamboo Lamp Detail (1)

As a designer with no prior knowledge of bamboo as a material, embarking on the journey of building this small lamp and, in the first place, enrolling in this course has unveiled an entirely new and different material to me. It has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and a unique set of skills to learn and explore.

BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Assembling Bamboo Lamp
BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Bamboo Lamp (3)

The most captivating aspect of crafting this lamp was discovering how different bamboo species could be employed to construct various parts of a product or building, contingent upon the specific requirements of thickness and strength. It truly fascinates me how a single material can possess such a diverse range of qualities, each varying from species to species.

Sharing the Experience

I believe that gaining hands-on experience with bamboo is one of the most crucial aspects for anyone seeking to learn about this material. With over a thousand varieties, many of which are yet to be explored, practical engagement becomes essential to learn about the potential applications of bamboo.

I would advise individuals considering joining this course to make the most of their time during the program and thoroughly enjoy the entire duration.

BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Assembling Bamboo Lamp (7)
BAMBOO U - Harshita Sharma Assembling Bamboo Lamp (7)

The 11 Day Build and Design Course is truly one of its kind, providing the most amazing and enjoyable experience I have had.

As an architect, I believe it is the best way to gain in-depth knowledge about a material. I sincerely want to express my gratitude to Orin and the entire Bamboo U team for introducing this course and for their immense patience and dedication to teaching.

Thank you, Bamboo U!
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Join the next 11 Day Build and Design Course, and let’s begin your bamboo journey! To know more and book the course: bamboou.com/11-day-build

Harshita Sharma
About the author
Harshita Sharma | Architect

Harshita Sharma is an architect from India. Demonstrating a keen interest in her field, she has participated in various workshops, with a specific focus on furniture and sustainable materials such as bamboo and earth. This keen interest of her’s led her to sign up for the Bamboo U course.

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