The Arc: Design and Construction
Lecture by Ibuku within the Lecture Series at the Institute for Art and Architecture, WS 2023/24
Curated by Michelle Howard, Adam Hudec, Veronika Miskovicova and Eva Sommeregger in collaboration with the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.
Defit Wijaya, Senior Architect at IBUKU talks about the Arc. It was completed for the world renowned Green School in Bali, Indonesia in 2021. The Green School in Bali is known for its finely tuned programme that follows children from early years through to secondary education, infused with a focus on creativity, the arts and ecological responsibility.
The first building of its kind ever made, the Arc at Green School is whimsical but sturdy, beautifully undulating as well as light and dynamic – almost like the bamboo version of a boat's billowing sails in the wind. The roof is thin and balanced, and feels organic and close to nature. It is created from a series of intersecting 14m-tall bamboo arches spanning 19m, interconnected by anticlastic Gridshells that derive their strength from curving in two opposite directions. The masterful designs were refined in collaboration with German carpentry specialist Jörg Stamm and structural engineers Atelier One. The Arc operates like the ribs of a mammal's chest, stabilised by tensile membranes analogous to tendons and muscles between ribs. Biologically, these highly tensile microscopic tendons transfer forces from bone to bone. In The Arc, bamboo splits transfer forces from arch to arch.
YEAH, BUT IS IT TECHNOLOGY? Yes of Course! asks what direction would technology have taken if skills that are normally attributed to women and other anomalies were given the attention they deserve, and proposes that by embracing the practical application of lines and threads we can build a richer and more sustainable future. Scientists now accept that humankind’s first tool was not a weapon but a carrier bag, that humans tended toward sociable collectives rather than submission to hierarchy, that whole social systems were adopted or discarded according to need. These facts are now recognised because evidence long existing has been reevaluated in less biased ways. The evidence was not difficult to find, it was just ignored. Patriarchal biases have labelled one practice technology and the other craft. Both are dependent on the practical application of knowledge, yet one attracts prestige, income, and a taste of progress while the other is deemed pretty but also pretty useless. Could an embracing of ignored technologies lead to a regenerative practice that drives environmental and societal progress? Of course it could!