Drinking straws and toothpicks: Bamboo Architecture in the Rohingya Refugee Camps


IOM and ARUP invite participants – children and adults - to explore the bamboo architecture of the Rohingya camps through simple model making. Participants are invited to share their completed models on Instagram; the outputs will be shared with children in the camps to inspire their own model making.

Bamboo is an incredibly powerful material, and it is used for almost everything in the camps; almost 30 million pieces of bamboo have been used since the Rohingya fled Myanmar in August 2017.

However, for architects and engineers used to working with sawn timber or steel, bamboo is a strange and difficult material to work with. Simple drinking straw & toothpick models can be very useful, as they closely replicate how the structures are assembled and how they act. In short, if you can build it with drinking straws and toothpicks, then you can build it with bamboo. And if the model is stable, then the building will be stable.

IOM, ARUP and Artolution will host a webinar at 1-2pm on Friday 19th on Bamboo Architecture & Art in the Rohingya Refugee Camps. Details on the website.

Model-making: People are invited to make models at any time. Instructions can be found at the website below. Photographs can be shared using #lfadigital & @drinkingstrawsandtoothpicks on Instagram

You will need: Drinking Straws & Toothpicks, and that's it (plus whatever you want for the cladding)



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