The Poetics of Bamboo and Mud – Edward NG

Mother Earth gives us natural materials to work with; they have no embodied energy and are sustainable. Our ancestors made good use of them. However, we have largely forgotten them in our contemporary world. The Design Research Initiative One University One Village is our attempt to regain the lost ground. We build large span, easy to assemble, cheap and sustainable bamboo bridges for remote villages in China. We also build earth houses that are seismic resistant in earthquake areas. We learn from the villagers, and combine this with a scientific understanding, fusing the considerations of tectonics and environmental design to create poetic designs which are structurally sound and environmentally considerate, and provide a dignified way of living for the villagers.

Professor Edward Ng is an architect and Yao Ling Sun Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He specializes in Green Building, Environmental and Sustainable Design. He is founder of the Design Research Initiative One University One Village ( It aims to provide sustainable design services to rural villages to improve life. Professor Ng has published over 400 papers and 3 books. He has twice received the International Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); and twice been awarded the UNESCO Heritage Innovation Award. He is the current President of PLEA, an International Network dedicated to Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design

This lecture has been organised by Paula Cadima and Simos Yannas, Directors of the Sustainable Environmental Design (SED) programme.


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