Bamboo in Bombay

Prof. A. G. Rao, what a man. He impressed us from the first minute on with his big knowledge, his experience and his great sense of humor. In the 1980s he founded the Bambu Studio at the IDC IIT Bombay. The objective was to break the low status given to bamboo and its craftsmen in the society (bamboo products were looked at as cheap products made by lower casts). Therefore he started to promote bamboo as a material, organize workshops and add value by encouraging designers to work with bamboo.

To discuss with Prof. Rao as an expert and pioneer in bamboo was not only very enriching but also lead to another great opportunity: We met Gangamma. She is a skilled bamboo craftswoman and trainer in Bombay. Earlier she manufactured with her community of around 100 people products that were developed at Prof. Rao’s Bambu Studio together with students. In her workshop we got the chance to work hands on and make some bamboo weaving experiences.