UMBOO Bamboo Modular System

Client: Inbar (India)

Year: 2012

Works: social design, research, furniture design

UMBOO: Multipurpose Hexagonal Bamboo Umbrella

On intergovernmental organization’s invitation Mike Wite went to India for 2 weeks for working on design projects à la Victor Papanek in summer 2012.

This project was made for Indain and African regions with high temperatures, the scorching sun and the rainy seasons, considering the high cost and shortage of building materials. One hexagonal module-umbrella (if the seat is lift up to 75 cm) can combine poor rural schools with a continuous and cofmort shadow. The geometry and area of open-air school could be of any shape, according to the exact landscape. It could be used any available material for canopy – leather, fabric, plastic, leaf etc.

So, Umboo collected many important advantages, which can help this project to spread all over the regions, where it could be realy necessary or useful at least.

— It is simple and cheap in production and transportation
— Assembling, maintenance and repair can be performed with a minimal set of tools and available materials in a particular region. 
— Bamboo is a very strong material.
— It is possible to use only one-exact construction for many different purposes: modular schools, markets, cafe, festivals etc.

It is only simple bamboo hexagonal umbrella with seat/desk. But it could be realy helpful and useful, when you start to imagine and try to solve different problems in hot, rainy and poor regions.


Sometimes it is difficult to solve some different problems separately. But it is possible to combine this similar problems in one list and try to analize the whole set of the tasks. And it may happen that solution of several problems will be easier and more effective than trying to fix each problem independently and separately. Umboo is the result of this approach design.

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