Use of bamboo during Boom 2010 is not just a materialization of a commitment to bio construction; it is also a metaphor for a life of new possibilities. See how you can make bamboo a central part of your life?

Bamboo speaks a language that evokes human emotion, connecting to the mind-body spirit within us. Its cultural significance resonates across the world: Chinese mythology considered humans and bamboo to be of the same blood; in India, bamboo is symbolic for friendship, while in Japan, a bamboo forest surrounding a Shinto is said to ward off evil spirits. String-bound bundles of bamboo were used as a medium for writing during the Shang period and in Thailand, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands and Columbia – it continues to be utilized in almost every aspect of life.

As a revolutionary approach to future sustainability, bamboo becomes an art to living free. The fastest growing species on the planet, it possesses a human connection few plants can rival. As bamboo structures of The Drop and Dance Temple begin to take shape across the Boom site, we explore the possibility of growing your own house, flute, can-crusher, chopsticks, bike, ladder, deck chair, raft, temple?

Bamboo facts (Source: Simon Velez: Grow Your Own House)

? Bamboo Nation: Over one billion people around the world are living in bamboo homes
Revolutionary: Bamboo planted across 500,000 ha of land can provide homes to more than 100 million people
Preservation: Can be preserved for at least 50 years using Pyrolytic Acid.
Ecological: Absorbs 40 times as much CO2 as pine and can be grown using grey water
Economical: A 65-sqm home can be built using just 100 pieces of bamboo, which can be harvested in five years across 500m2 of land
Organic: Can thrive in water, which means can be grown organically without pesticides
Withstands Natural Disasters: According to numerous reports, bamboo homes held up against 180mph hurricane winds during the Tsunami that hit south-east Asia in 2004

Light, strong, versatile – Bamboo is more than just an alternative building material. It?s also a life-giver and provider and a revolutionary solution to housing millions of homeless people around the world.

From urbanites to country-dwellers – anyone can grow their own bamboo. Watch it take mystical forms as it climbs the walls and see how it can transform your home into a Balinese jungle. Here?s how?

Growing Bamboo:

Inside the home:
? ?Running bamboo? grows horizontal from the root before sprouting up. For growing in the home, opt for the ?clumping? kind.
? Make sure the pot is twice the size of the clump.
? Allow plenty of sunlight and keep it hydrated, watering frequently during the vital 12 to 18 months of the plant?s life
? Bamboo doubles in size each year, so make sure you allow plenty of space for it to stretch out.

Outside the home / in the garden:
? When planting outside, make sure the hole you dig matches the depth of the pot that your plant is sitting in. Again, it needs to be twice the width of the pot.
? Position your plant into the hole and surround it with the compost mix, add rocks, wood chip, marbles
? The clump of soil around the plant (once extracted from the pot) should be level with the soil line
? The first 12-18 months of the plant?s life are vital so make sure it is watered consistently
? Fertilizing: A nitrogen-based fertilizer is preferable. This should be carried out at least three times during the first six to 12 months.
? Effects of full-power growth will materialise in five to six years

The magic of bamboo lies in the nature of its versatility to create whatever you want. By learning to grow our own bamboo, we become self-sufficient and empowered. It is a gateway to creative expression, sustainable living and to freedom.

Bamboo DNA, led by designer and architect, Gerard Minakawa, are currently in the process of building the Dance Temple and Drop areas of the Boom site. We continue this interesting dialogue with the team to bring you some innovative ideas on what you can do with bamboo and how to build with it. Watch this space?.

Check out the ?Boom Construction? photo reportage and see how we are utilizing bamboo:

www.boomfestival.org/boom2010/2010/07/boom-construction-making-of