John Hardy launches a two-part video series voicing the earth-changing power of bamboo
Artisan jeweler John Hardy unveils a two-part short film series titled, “Radical Renewal,“ featuring Elora Hardy, founder of the pioneering architecture firm IBUKU, and Arief Rabik of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation who transforms barren regions by creating a network of bamboo farms throughout Bali and across Indonesia. Together, Elora and Arief are heroic voices for this powerful plant, a vital material in Bali as both an environmentally conscientious building material that flexes into engineering wonders and as a renewable resource that can heal damaged landscapes
Bamboo has the capacity to completely reinvent modern architecture––more sustainable than timber, as strong as steel by weight, and with the compressive strength of concrete–– while regenerating the earth. Because of its remarkable strength and flexibility, it can both sway in the wind and serve as the foundation of towering structures including hotels, schools, and homes. These characteristics are the star of the films, with Elora and Arief showing how bamboo can ground global architecture and transform rural communities. With their teams of farmers, architects, engineers and designers, they have created a completely new vocabulary, one that illustrates bamboo’s longevity and inherent goodness.
Arief works on the ground across Indonesia to realize the Bamboo Village Initiative, a part of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, orchestrating government land grants and providing resources and training for local farmers to reforest the land. “Bamboo is magic,” he says, “It’s a giant grass that stitches up the landscape and the soil, it brings back the water and stabilizes pollutants to become healthy food for its roots.” His passionate team works tirelessly to heal damaged ecosystems, empower predominantly women farmers, and create a guaranteed market for the bamboo they harvest. As Arief notes, “Women are highly enterprising and dedicated farmers who give nearly all of their profits back to their families, extended families and communities. It is here, in this work, that we can plant and bring back the forests of the past.”
Through IBUKU, Elora and her team of designers and artisans create intricate structures that twist and turn––towering wonderlands composed of bamboo as seen at the Green School Bali, Bambu Indah Resort, Green Village, as well as at select The Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and Como hotel properties. Through future-conscious design, IBUKU’s structures prove the power of nature in global architecture. “We are finding the poetry of experience between our bodies and our landscapes, all the layers of ourselves.” Education is central to understanding the true beauty and power of bamboo. Through Bamboo U, an immersive bamboo-focused workshop in Bali, Elora shares practical and imaginative insights. “People realize bamboo is sustainable, but they don’t yet see how far it can go, how interesting it can be, and what it can teach us,” says Elora, “New shoots grow each year from the mother root system, it is a regenerating plant that teaches us to bend but not break, and to be flexible. Beauty only matters when it forever supports Earth as our home.”
John Hardy is proud to highlight the work of Elora and Arief, and to further the efforts of bamboo reforestation through their continued Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo collection. This collection supports their partnership with the Bamboo Village Initiative in Bali: for every handcrafted bamboo piece sold, Bamboo seedlings are planted in Indonesia.
John Hardy’s Spring 2021 Bamboo designs intricately crafted by hand in their Bali workshop by master artisans surrounded by lush, bamboo greenery. Contrasting forms are marked by The Bamboo Cuff ($995) mimicking the plant’s extraordinary flexibility and weightless strength, with arches and twists meticulously shaped into a voluminous design of reclaimed Sterling Silver. The silhouette rises like a cathedral, innovatively crafted with space between every curve, casting architectural shadows––a true feat of artisanal excellence. The Bamboo Bib Necklace ($1295) moves as fluidly as the plant itself, gently swaying as it grows, its focal point comprised of thirty-two bamboo castings that are carved to fit together, each one hollow, recalling bamboo’s inherent form and ability to bring water down to earth. All collection pieces are engraved with their unique number of seedlings donated.
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