Many Americans consider bamboo to be an exotic, niche material, yet for billions overseas it is a part of everyday life. Bridging Bamboo challenges designers, industry leaders, and the public to cross this boundary and foresee a world in which bamboo is used in all manner of products, connecting the past with the present, the natural with the technologically advanced, and the exotic with the ubiquitous. In doing so, it will expand consumers desire for sustainable bamboo and yield relationships between industry leaders and the Black Belt region that will bring future opportunities.
The exhibit will break barriers between bamboo and more commonly-used materials, and convince consumers that bamboo can and should be ubiquitous. The works showcased by designers and companies in the indoor space will demonstrate the material’s versatility and personality; each bamboo product is unique due to natural wood patterns. Meanwhile, bamboo structures and plants in the outdoor space will showcase bamboo’s sustainability.
Once consumers discover their desire for bamboo, industry will jump to meet their needs with products, and when they do, Black Belt bamboo will be there as the best option. Through the exhibit, we will show members of industry—from designers to decision-makers in large companies—that bamboo is a versatile plant capable of filling various needs, that consumers desire bamboo products, and that American-grown bamboo from the Black Belt region of Alabama is the most cheap and viable way to acquire bamboo. By working closely with these members of various industries, growers in the Black Belt region will build lasting relationships with companies and improve the profile of the region, leading to future opportunities.