Freyr’s Bamboo Home (Sky-Kubu) – Bali

A BIG warm Welcome to Freyr’s Bamboo Home/Sky-Kubu located 15-20min from Seminyak/ Double Six Beach – in Denpasar, Bali: – to our helpers, local and international families and community partners, workshop participants, artisans, craftspeople and travellers….. Aiming to nurture an inclusive family environment where people with disabilities and their family members can be involved in a collaborative manner, this project is the beginning of my Vision to enable a co-operatively managed inclusion model, which sustains the needs of families and individuals with special needs through helping together, supporting local business enterprises and enriching each other through spending time IN-COMMUNITY – so that we may nurture quality-of-life experiences (see Friends of Freyr Inclusive Activities) enabling a sense of productiveness and fulfilment; where everyone’s contribution is valued whether physical, financial or through less tangible means…

Together with helpers and local friends, we have designed and built a tropical urban bamboo house design – inspired during our stays with local families in the Philippines – to be accessible and (more) affordable for local populations in developing countries (tropical/semi-tropical regions) combining traditional and modern BAMBOO design with EARTHSHIP principles (utilising waste and recycled materials and living food systems); The method aims to be: Non-toxic, minimise waste and maximise self-sufficiency; demonstrate village-scale preservation and production techniques with bamboo and affordable low-cost technology that ensures sustainable local resource use and encourages local awareness and education on zero-waste principles.

Standing 13 metres high, our Bamboo TINY HOUSE EARTHSHIP borders the Seminyak Rice Fields in Bali, neighbouring with Bali Street Kids project and is based on a traditional Lumbung/Rice barn design developed near Jogjakarta in Java (brought to Bali by Djuka of Farmer’s Yard Permaculture Hostel). The original “knock-down” design has been elaborated into a “Bamboo Earthship Sky-KUBU” and is able to be built by 4-6 people. (See more about THE BUILD). The design aims to be an example of how bamboo can be utilised in the “modern sense” and COULD appeal to developing country populations who have existing knowledge and skills in building with bamboo (which are currently at risk of being lost due to the common perception that bamboo is “only for poor people – or just for the very rich”).

With more than 70% of the global population living on less than $10/day, in tropical/subtropical climates, bamboo could be a vital game-changer in turning around ecological decay (one aspect) – However, there are not many examples of bamboo “architecture” which the majority of the world’s population can/could afford or aspire to use. It’s vital that, as westerners, we use our “privilege” during these times (of (Post)-Colonialism) to bring knowledge and resources for building with bamboo which can transfer sustainably and be applied to “modern” ways of living. We hope to maintain the intrinsic knowledge and cultural roots of bamboo which span many countries, generations and traditions – and help others to appreciate and learn the SKILL required to work with and understand this material in a hands-on way. We want to bring awareness to re-thinking and regenerating local economies worldwide while balancing those which currently rely on “cheap labour”, and give value to this cultural knowledge to ensure it is maintained… and to encourage local development which can sustain livelihoods, encourage innovation and cooperation… seeing bamboo become a sustainable source of income at a local level while reinventing our whole concept of housing and economy….

Become part of our project and further our goal of sharing renewable technologies and knowledge of treatments methods for making bamboo an accessible long-term sustainable resource:

Prior to living here in Bali my daughter and I lived in the Philippines (Palawan) where we stayed with several families for nearly a year… they helped me to care for my daughter at a time when I was unable to cope with caring for her myself. Living in Palawan, I witnessed local living conditions and wondered why bamboo wasn’t being used more by local people. When helping a family to build a small homestay house in Palawan (Salacot), termites were a huge issue and wreakers of mass destruction without heavy chemical treatment. I came to Bali initially in 2016 to learn how to naturally treat bamboo to make it less “temporary”, and started to learn a bit about bamboo building through HelpX – at Zahara Urban farm where I met Arief and Supri who helped me build this house, and with Djuka (at Farmer’s Yard Hostel) where I helped build the Lumbung (traditional rice barn)-style room from bamboo which later became the basis for this “Sky-Kubu” design. This project has been a way to create social inclusion for my daughter Freyr who is now 20 years old: At the time we started in 2017 she was 15 and we had experienced some of the fundamental flaws of the Australian Disability and Child Protection Systems.

It’s not rocket-science looking after a special-needs child/person, but it does take a village (to raise even a “normal” child….) and Freyr, being kind-of like an overgrown toddler, needs people around to provide the stimulation and provide the supervision she needs in order to function and not harm herself and/or others. In the society I came from (Australia), Freyr was getting increasingly less opportunities to be around her peers and we were quite isolated, and I was more and more facing the prospect of living alone with her. Moving to the Philippines, I found a more natural sense of family, inclusion and inclination for people to offer to help each other; a greater sense of “ease” in general… a sense of connection and in working and being around others in a familyful way. For me, to be able to contribute to my community and feel a sense of purpose in life, is a mainstay and vital to my own sense of self-worth (not in the sense of being a human-doing but just being able to do ANYTHING outside of caring for the immediate care and supervision needs of my daughter) and to be able to FUNCTION as a human being without my nervous system being on constant high-alert and my body on the verge of nervous breakdown; to be able to tap into my own creativity/exploration and passion/expression instead of being there constantly for someone else is revitalising and ultimately necessary for my overall health and well-being.

I hope to return to Palawan again and stay with the families who helped me to be able to keep my daughter in my care; whose generous and kind natures and openness to me, a total stranger, and my daughter – who just makes herself at-home wherever…. gave me support and rest. In Puerto Princessa and the beautiful and relatively unspoilt area of the hillsides behind Napsan (probably now like Bali was 30 years or so ago) I reconnected with myself and found my passion… I was able to devote my time to discovering and contributing to what I care about and could develop my Vision for how I want to live with my daughter able to be in my life – in a supportive collaborative community environment. I am most passionate about sustainable and community design, affordable living technologies and I hope to be able to develop programs which enable us to bring access to sustainable renewable technologies which can help improve living standards and enable access to things we take for granted in the western world – not only with bamboo in terms of it being long-lasting, but also for things like having running water, light at night and a source of firewood/fuel that doesn’t destroy/deforest the local environment.

It takes more than a village to raise a special needs child… maybe a multi-layered international village will do the job… and that is my mission and vision: To create community in an all-encompassing sense – where no-one is excluded.

Freyr summoning the nations

Community is what is NEEDED on this planet right now… and I believe Special Kids have a purpose to help us to step out of the ISOLATION we have been conditioned into – and that they are the perfect medicine for our planet right now; here to help us exit our “greed mentality” and become a compassionate sustainable global nation.

Revive and Connect!

Bamboo Creative wants YOU – to be the change!

We want to Be the change by living a low-consumption resource-friendly lifestyle and contribute to the proliferation of renewable innovative technologies… I aim to build a family more than a business, and to nurture relationships to create a strong foundation for the future collective of people to make strong communities and revitalise our culture and families together to restore our planet. Yes, we all need money in some form, to live, build and make things happen – but for me it’s about co-operative culture and working/helping together and sharing the rewards. That’s Real family… Overall we need to innovate ways to create and manage resources which contribute to the collective good… We have much to learn from the Balinese, Indonesian and Philippine cultures in that area – as cultures which are centred around village/family life and the local governance principles of serving one’s community with everyone having a role to play.

Join our Workshops to learn how to design and build with bamboo and natural/renewable and recycled materials at Freyr’s Bamboo Sky-Kubu

Come and get lost in Bamboo! We invite you to see how bamboo and up-cycled materials can be used in urban living. For practical hands-on opportunities to learn carpentry and crafting skills join our Day Workshops focused on carpentry, design and construction with bamboo…. We offer Introductory to Intermediate Carpentry & Joinery practical day workshops where we share our experience building with bamboo and the design of our bamboo building at Freyr’s Bamboo Sky-Kubu (Denpasar). Basic tool knowledge and techniques; joinery/carpentry styles will be demonstrated and then we work together to make a bamboo item of your choice; You will get to apply your new knowledge practically and be given the the tools to try for yourself… and take home your creation! Check Availability for Carpentry and Joinery Workshops – on Air BNB Experiences.

We offer programs for families and individuals – providing care support for disabilities and are evolving a time-share model where local and international families can be part of an inclusive community here in Bali – We are working to create inclusive community space/s and activities where young people and adults with disabilities (and their families) can Be and Feel included, and to at a local level to maintain traditions and promote the value of bamboo as a sustainable building material/resource and enable it’s revival and enhancement/celebration in our local community. Through uniting traditions, practicing weaving, craft skills and other right-brain activities, listening and healing ; and developing programs for Intentional Inclusive Community Initiatives which reconnect us with local culture, traditions and culture where we can feel /be part of a family environment and relearn to just BE… and be able to experience life – as people with a common purpose and sense of joy and love – which i feel is the gift of our special needs community members – our Angels without Wings… as my friend Wayan calls our children with Autism. (KEEP READING) ———————>

Bamboo Internships:

Our Internship Programs focus on developing unique/hand-made and Individual/customised bamboo building, recycled-design and natural/earth building projects where participants are enabled to be part of the design experience and process of each project. As well, we offer design programs for locally produced bamboo finished products and components [natural and recycled] through partnerships with local families directly. We facilitate Bamboo Carpentry Apprenticeship learning on various topics centred around traditional balinese techniques with bamboo builders at our Bamboo School Collaboration in Belega/Gianyar – (through Intensive Courses, Weekly Programs and Internships). Our aim is to ENABLE more local families to have access to building their own “homestay” which could benefit them socially and economically using renewable/recycled materials (bamboo-based) and to open up avenues for more local families to learn about sustainability, and a pathway for “us” to regain our human-ness and a much more authentic experience of local culture which benefits locals directly. Full and Half Day Programs in various aspects of Craft and Carpentry with Bamboo, Upcycled materials and in using Natural Building techniques – Open to all ages and abilities with full support available for special needs individuals and families.

VIP Day Internships and Inclusive Programs… Enjoy time to Be Creative and learn new skills and be supported to create your own unique product (View our Gift Vouchers on TAB TRAVEL). If you would like to join our VIP Internships (residential) program, you can stay with us and eat, sleep and poop bamboo -> See our VIP interns program. VIP stays are for those who would like to stay with us and experience Bamboo in the Everyday – Gain a deeper understanding and access to our daily workshops in Craft, Carpentry and learn one on one in a more personalised way tailored to to develop your own product from bamboo. Stay with us and learn skills in natural building with bamboo, cob, bottle/eco-bricks and recycled materials and craft/design.


Outreach Project – Day Workshop Programs:

Day workshops and longer programs for learning bamboo skills and helping to build our Bamboo School at Belega (near Ubud) with amazing local bamboo builders, craftsmen and artisans.

We are establishing an Ecocentre for bamboo and natural building skills and practical programs which more people may join and where my daughter and other people with disabilities can be part of a post-school natural learning program in a community environment.

The purpose of this Ecocentre is to help to retain and recognise the value of traditional artesian skills and to give them greater significance in the “modern world”. Partly in their application to help us develop the skill and focus which can help us normalise our brainwave patterns and detoxify/reduce addictive patterns and behaviors, and partly just appreciating the skill, work and presence of artisan masters – From carving to weaving and traditional arts that are at risk of being lost in the present generation of modernity…

See our main Workshops page for info

group of bamboo students

Bamboo Yoga – Being in the Feeling-Body

Find your own Zen learning to Craft with bamboo… Bamboo and Small Craft, Weaving and Product Design Workshops 

Our half day crafting workshops offer courses in bamboo cutlery, weaving, bamboo jewellery and other groovy stuff as well as customised sessions: Bamboo is about Feeling… not precision. Working with bamboo helps us to experience being in our Feeling-Body…

It’s this “Being” state, and feeling of Connectedness… just sitting, working hands-on with others – which I feel will assist humanity to regain harmony and assist us to find our strengths, visions, through enabling synchronicity and coming back into a trusting relationship with the Universe/God. Drug-addicted rats prefer to be with other rats in the community-sense than take the heroin; Maybe we also could re-learn to be IN community and discover our natural flow through practicing arts and crafts that establish the focused attention with which artisans refine not only the physical – but also the quality of presence that one feels from a master.

Kids Workshops

Working with bamboo, making toys and up-cycling materials; in our Kids Workshops we offer programs and topics suited to age groups: 3-6 and 7-12 years and above. We offer in-house and mobile workshops for regular programs with local schools/ homeschoolers by appointment and also one-off events to run kids workshops for small gatherings or festivals . See our Kids Club Page for more information

Social Exchange

For those wanting to contribute to our Disability and Special Needs Program we offer sliding scale options for in-kind/financial contribution. Through our Social Exchange, visitors can join in our antics as Interns and contribute to the “ground-zero” level of the project (for skilled professionals who have skills and creativity to offer our project as a co-contributor). We also accept interns who are willing to commit their time to help building and developing this project physically and/or assisting our Special Needs Kids Program involvement as a kind of work exchange. You must have a Social Budaya Visa to join this program.

Through our Social Exchange Program, Creatives and Skilled Professionals can offer their skills and experience to assist us to develop programs, sub-projects and working relationships with our local community (3-6 weeks stay). In the overall picture of our project, we wish to attract/invite creative individuals/groups who can contribute to the social fabric, built environment, gardens and food-growing, health care and sports/activities in an in-kind form of contribution which can help to make ALL our lives more family-like experience… And in which people are recognised as MORE than just as ‘volunteers’ but  at a co-contributor level and as members of our village network/s with whom we may have an ongoing collaborative relationship….

Therapists may also join us and offer their skills/programs to local kids with special needs as interns, and through our Family Retreats Program in a way so that everyone benefits, regardless of their financial status/capability.. We plan to host Family Retreats 1-2 times per year in partnership with Meitha Soekotjo (Good Shepherd Management). Therapists interested in joining us for 3-6 week internships or for those interested in partnering with our Family Retreat schedule…

Contribute to building Freyr’s Bamboo Home in Denpasar which will offer space for day programs and activities for kids with Special Needs: A Therapy Play-space for Special Needs Children and their families in Bali…

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We welcome your contribution towards helping complete the last stages of work on our Bamboo House and manifest: Disability access water-powered elevator for wheelchairs to the first floor, flooring and landscape, interior aspects and surfaces and completion of our underwater classroom/trampoline, bamboo aquaponics system; and further, to develop our program by engaging, training and employing additional carer staff. Gift Cards can also be purchased for present and future programs (valid for 3 years) here: GIFT CARD PURCHASE

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Eastern cultures embody feminine principles still and hold skills, time and cooperative qualities essential to human emotional health; they make us feel valued as individual humans…. something the western world/culture has forgotten, with its largely masculine results-oriented values.

If we can come together and form complimentary partnerships where we can relearn to see each other and honour our human qualities, time, skills, each other and utilise our finances to effectively bring about relationships which can succeed the current era; we may also be able to live in harmony and acceptance, learn tolerance and share knowledge which can help all human lives on this planet.

Read More… ABOUT Me

Bamboo Creative Bali is intended to be a collaborative project between Natalie Davenport, mother of Special Needs teenager Freyr (both from Australia) and local Indonesian craftsmen, bamboo specialists, helpers, and parents/carers/teachers of special needs kids locally and internationally.

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