Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Bamboo Bicycles

Perhaps soon to be seen on the Parkway trail, these bamboo speedster beauties, grown from the earth, shaped by human hands, as reported by Fast Company.

An excerpt.

“Another bamboo bicycle? Yes--but the vehicle devised by Alexander Vittouris departs from the funky, tiki-bar-friendly lines made from this sustainable, globally ubiquitous grass. A design student at Australia's Monash University, Vittouris envisions a bicycle that isn't built, but grown--the bamboo stalks of the frame being trained into shape while the plant is growing. Inspired by arborsculpture, in which tree branches are fixed in expressive shapes that they take as the plant grows, Vittouris wants to develop a reusable framework that would shape bamboo into nearly finished bicycles.

“While arboculture is a craft practice rather than a mass-production technique, its application to bamboo--which may be cultivated inexpensively, and grows with astonishing speed--offers at least a coy gleam of scalability. Manufacturing traditional bicycles expends energy and injects waste into the world, whether the frame is some space-age alloy or bamboo. Vittouris by contrast proposes "engaging the environment in (the) production phase through photosynthesis and carbon storage till ultimate destruction."