Award 2016

Wassilij Grod

CONBOU – Lightweight Construction


The production of standard bamboo panels causes 40% of waste as clippings; moreover bamboo loses its lightness in the process. This motivated a procedure whereby the bamboo cane is cut into oblique pieces and bonded between two panel materials. The oblique cut enlarges the bonding surfaces and blocks the forces. A timber-frame construction made from bamboo between two surface materials attains a satisfactory relationship between inherent weight and form stability. The properties of bamboo canes are transferred onto a surface material. The height and constructions of the middle layer and the surface materials are variable and offer a wide range of individual options. The self-supporting material also permits other specific applications with larger material spans, such as canopies, stages and platforms, scenery, ship interior extensions and automobile extensions, and many more constructions demanding lightness and carrying capacity. The stability of the panel was tested under laboratory conditions. After the material collapsed under a stress amounting to a hundred times its own weight, the test was stopped. The CONBOU panel remained intact when subjected to seventy times its own weight.

1st prize (Product Designs)



Wassilij Grod is a designer and developer. He studied product design at the Bauhaus University Weimar. In China he researched on production sites, material use and traditions related to bamboo as a starting point of his bamboo works. Since 2008 Grod has been designing material compliant applications made from bamboo.