Addressing barriers for bamboo:
techniques for altering cultural perception
The potential benefits of bamboo as a rapidly-renewable, low-carbon, sustainable building material are well established, yet bamboo remains underutilized globally due to laborious manual evaluation and fabrication techniques and deeply-rooted aesthetic stigmas in western culture. 5cholarship in this area has the potential to radically redefine the usage of bamboo as a cheap and sustainable material, but in practice the widespread implementation of bamboo is limited by its cultural perception. This paper examines cultural perceptions of bamboo as a cheap and informal or kitsch vernacular material, using existing scholarship and projects to analyze existing methods and attempts in practice to either elevate or transform perceptions of bamboo through built work and engineered materials. The paper posits how new research by the authors aimed at transforming the use of solid bamboo species can radically shift the way in which bamboo is perceived, transitioning from an irregular kitsch vernacular material to a refined material system that mimics accepted conventions or invents new vernaculars.