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Bamboo Europe

Bamboo Europe

Is it possible to create a transparent, sustainable, and local supply chain for processing bamboo for use in interior design, construction and textile production? Through the project Bamboo Europe, ArtEZ University of the Arts’ Professorship Tactical Design is currently investigating the possibilities of completely European-produced bamboo – all the way from raw material to finished product.

Bamboo is a promising renewable raw material which grows quickly, absorbs large amounts of CO2 and contains useful chemical and mechanical properties. Up until now, it has been imported exclusively from Asia – but now that we have a large-scale bamboo plantation in Europe, the first of its kind and fully functional, this opens up the gate for exploration into the possibilities for a sustainable bamboo supply chain. This new bamboo grown in Europe has a slightly different composition than the Asian variety, which means that more research is needed and much about the bamboo’s properties is still unclear.

So, is it possible to transform the entire supply chain into something sustainable and transparent every step of the way – from cultivation and processing raw material to the semi-finished product and design, all the way up to furniture? The lectureship and research group from the Tactical Design department is investigating everything that a sustainable bamboo supply chain would involve. They are collaborating with the bamboo plantation BambooLogic in Portugal, the Netherlands Open Air Museum, Wageningen University & Research, various companies involved in fibre processing, wood preservation and furniture production, and designers, students and teachers at ArtEZ from several disciplinary backgrounds.

Researchers at ArtEZ

ArtEZ has three researchers who will be involved in the Bamboo Europe project: professor Jeroen van den Eijnde and researchers Tjeerd Veenhoven and Michelle Baggerman. They also form the core team that is leading the entire project. Van den Eijnde and Veenhoven will mainly focus on the interdisciplinary research process of developing a sustainable supply chain for interior design merchandise produced from European-grown bamboo. Baggerman will be involved as a researcher into the possibilities of using European bamboo fibres to create or supplement sustainable textiles.

During the two-year project, ArtEZ students and teachers will also be involved in the research activities. They will become familiar with the principles surrounding sustainability and circular design, which are essential in terms of the energy transition and climate change mitigation objectives in initiatives such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and those from the Dutch government to move towards a circular economy. The knowledge gained by this research into a sustainable European-centric supply chain for bamboo, as well as its uses in textile production and interior design, will furthermore aid efforts to reduce deforestation and CO2 emissions globally.

Students at work

Over the course of the two-year project, ArtEZ students within the Product Design course will be working on research questions within the framework of the Bamboo Europe research project. The Product Design students’ focus will be on practically testing prototypes of bamboo-based outdoor furniture. After all, the ultimate sign of a complete supply chain is creating a functional end product – in this case, one that can withstand various factors of life outdoors (vandalism and stricter European caps on CO2 emissions in the production process, to name a few).


Bamboo Europe is financed from March 2022 to February 2024 by the Dutch Taskforce for Applied Research SIA under the  RAAK-mkb programme for collaborative research between UAS and SMEs, and involves the consortium partners BambooLogic, Wageningen University & Research, Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, Studio Hanna Kooistra, Studio Joris de Groot, Studio MetMet, Stichting Hout Research, Stichting Dutch Bamboo, Bambooder, Miscancell, Fedecom, Inducoat and BSM Factory


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