Lectures and Workshops

What the bamboo world needs is a system of grading poles so we don’t just rely on personal opinions.  Here is a great opportunity to obtain an advanced degree AND write the standards we need:


Pemberton, Western Australia bambusa balcoa

Recent Events and Lectures:

Sept 17-12 2015

Damyang Korea, 10th World Bamboo Congress

Coinciding with a huge Bamboo Fair from Sept 17 – Oct 31 where a million visitors are expected, this worldwide conference is crafted to be as relevant as possible – not just academics speaking to themselves.


December 2-8, 2014 – Bali

The people who have thrown the greatest number of resources toward the furthering of bamboo building in the last decade are at the Green School in Bali.  An upcoming week of bamboo workshops there will convince anyone of the viability of bamboo as the answer to all questions.


Nov 20-23 2014 – Brazil

I have seen Joerg Stamm teach fluently in 3 languages and mostly pantomime in two more.  Now it looks like he’ll show it in Portuguese!  And he understands bamboo just as well.  Let me know whether this Facebook link works for you.


Nov 19 2014  UC Santa Cruz 4-6 PM

At the Science & Justice Research Center, titled “Is Bamboo the Next Green Gold?        Balancing the Needs of Vernacular Builders, Non-human Forest Dwellers and Green Architects in the Age of Sustainability*”

Nov 12 – 14, 2014 Guayaquil, Ecuador

The first International Congress on Bamboo Innovations.  You’ll want to speak Spanish for this one to be helpful.


July 28, 2012

Sebastopol, CA – at the wonderful Bamboo Sourcery Nursery

Building a barrel vault structure.  The presence of thousands of poles of small diameter solid bamboos growing on the property inspired us to use their amazing ability to hold curves and make a greenhouse/shade structure.  The same idea could also become a chicken tractor (a lightweight, mobile shelter that can be moved around, allowing chickens to till and fertilize parts of your garden as you need.)

August 2011
East San Francisco Bay – El Sobrante, CA
Aug. 13 – Growing structural bamboo

Aug. 14 – Mastering basic bamboo techniques

Aug. 15-18 – Bamboo building intensive

email: <massey.burke@gmail.com>

Be sure to mention the $25 discount given to members of the American Bamboo Society

April 2011
workshops in 4 states in Australia with the 
Bamboo Society of Australia
Here are the photos from one of those.
Two of these workshops consisted of a series of small projects over two days.  Everyone got the chance to work with the tools and try a little of everything.  The other two were focused on a specific project, like this bridge and a nursery structure that you’ll see in the link above.

General information for arranging a lecture or workshop:

In the course of writing this book, we have visited more than a dozen countries and are happy to continue traveling around the world to spread our experience and knowledge of building with bamboo.

To have us give an event, we require that our basic expenses are provided for – which can be done through selling tickets to our talks, building workshops and book sales.  A good general example is to have a lecture on a Friday evening with the public invited, followed by a workshop on Saturday and Sunday.  A two-day workshop usually focuses on getting a familiarity with the tools and making some small items, while a one week workshop with a maximum of 15 participants can – assuming a good source of treated poles is available – produce a full bamboo structure.  The advantage of setting up a workshop is to answer the next layer of questions once the basic principles in the book are understood.  For a workshop to run smoothly in a limited amount of time, it is important to follow the instructions in the book and harvest and treat enough bamboo before the workshop.  If the workshop is in Northern California, we can bring treated poles imported from Colombia (4-5″ diameter), Vietnam (2″ diameter solid poles) or local sources (various diameters or splits for weaving a structure) – depending upon the design.

Evening slide show – Structures and Ideas From Around the World, 1 – 1.5 hours. Number of participants limited only by size of venue.

Begin with a detailed overview of joinery issues, followed by some quick projects to give people a chance to work safely with the tools specific to bamboo.  After lunch, continue with projects people can take home or build a small structure. 30 active participants max.

Continue with structure or browse books, make joinery examples, vases, ladles, practice bending, weaving, relate projects to the kind of work students want to pursue in the future.

Here is an example of a two day workshop where we built a 600 square foot building with bamboo trusses:


Please contact us for more information about setting up a lecture or workshop in your area.


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