At the 2019 London Design Festival, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has crafted a new eye-catching outdoor installation in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A Museum — just one year after his completion of the V&A Dundee museum in Scotland. Dubbed Bamboo (竹) Ring, or ‘Take-wa 竹わ’, the temporary doughnut-shaped structure is woven from rings of bamboo and carbon fiber. The sculpture was developed in partnership with Chinese consumer electronics brand OPPO.
Best known for his design of the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, architect Kengo Kuma has won international acclaim for his contemporary projects that draw inspiration from traditional Japanese design and emphasize natural materials. A recurring theme in his work is the expression of lightness and transparency, qualities that have also guided the design of the Bamboo (竹) Ring.
Curated by Clare Farrow, the cocoon-like structure is based on a 2-meter diameter ring made from strips of the bamboo Phyllostachys edulis reinforced with carbon fiber used to laminate each ring. “For Kuma, working with Ejiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, the installation is an exploration of pliancy, precision, lightness and strength: by pulling two ends, it naturally de-forms and half of the woven structure is lifted into the air,” reads the London Design Festival 2019 press release. “Bamboo (竹) Ring, or ‘Take-wa 竹わ’, is intended to be a catalyst for weaving people and place.”
Kuma’s installation was on display at 35 Baker Street for the duration of the London Design Festival, from September 14 to September 22, 2019. The project was developed in partnership with Chinese electronics brand OPPO, which recently built an OPPO design center in London during its new smartphone series launch. The experience center’s temporary installation, called “Essence of Discovery,” blended technology and art to introduce their smartphone products during the festival.
Images via Sassy Films