A BIG warm Welcome to Freyr’s Bamboo Home located 15-20min from Seminyak – in Denpasar, Bali – to our helpers, local and international families and community partners, workshop participants, artesians 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 a co-operatively managed local venture sustaining the needs of families and individuals through helping together, supporting local businesses and enriching each other so that we may have quality-of-life experiences enabling a sense of productiveness and fulfillment; where everyone’s contribution is valued whether physical, financial or through less tangible means…
Together we are designing and building a maximally sustainable tropical urban bamboo house design that is accessible and affordable for local populations in developing countries in tropical/semi-tropical regions – combining traditional and modern BAMBOO design with EARTHSHIP principles (utilising waste and recycled materials).
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.
Our Bamboo TINY HOUSE EARTHSHIP borders the Seminyak Rice Fields of Denpasar, Bali, and is based on a Lumbung/Rice barn design that comes from near Jogja in Java (brought to Bali by Djuka Montero of Farmer’s Yard Permaculture Hostel in Canggu, Bali.) The original “knock-down” design has been elaborated into a “Bamboo Earthship Sky-KUBU” AND is suitED TO tropical and sub-tropical environments___IT is low-cost – able to be built by 4-6 people in an urban or rural area. The design demonstrates 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 AND NATURAL MATERIALS which are at risk of being lost due to the common perception that bamboo is “only for poor people – or the very rich”. SEE MORE ABOUT THE DESIGN and what brought us to be living in Bali.
Bamboo – because it’s a fast-growing renewable material, we want to share at a practical level how to preserve it and ensure its longevity because without proper treatment bamboo will only last 3-5 years, and most developing/post-colonised communities lack this practical knowledge.
Earthship – because, even though the Earthship ‘signature’ car tyres are not a freely available ‘indigenous’ material in SE Asia where we’re based (we pay $1-2 per tyre), our design aims to create a home that produces its own food and energy, deals with its own waste and lessens unsustainable resource consumption.
Tiny-house – because we aim for a maximum efficiency, low budget portable design that meet the needs of the changing world community who either a) live in developing countries and are bound by the financial constraints of living on low wages (less than $10/day), land area shortages and lack of material availabilty/affordability or b) are living in developed countries and prefer not to take up lifestyles and jobs which lead to further global decay and want to Be the change by living a low-consumption resource-friendly lifestyle and contribute to the proliferation of renewable innovative technologies… Kubu is a term for small dwelling (usually made from bamboo/natural materials) so we have adopted that term.
With more than 70% of the global population living on less than $10/day in tropical/subtropical climates, bamboo could be a vital gamechanger 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. Therefore I feel it’s vital that we use our “privilege” in these times to bring knowledge and awareness for building with bamboo in sustainable and “modern” ways – and help to change the common perception in post-colonised nations that bamboo is only for “poor people” (or just the very rich). Also, we need to maintain the intrinsic knowledge and cultural roots of bamboo which spans many countries, generations and traditions – appreciate and learn the SKILL required to work with and understand this material. Partly so that it can be applied in “the west” affordably and without importing “cheap labour” and also to give value to this cultural knowledge to ensure it is maintained. Our projects and workshops aim to encourage local development to sustain livelihoods and encourage innovation and cooperation to reinvent and make bamboo applicable in a modern sense and become a sustainable source of income at a local level.
Presently, most local people can’t see how bamboo can be of benefit to them. Bamboo workers are generally still low-paid and the practical skills and expertise are being lost at a rapid rate (it’s not seen by locals as an ‘attractive career prospect because it’s ususally still the designers and “smart people’ that make all the money. Further, bamboo may become an industrialised and mass produced “product”, so to maintain it’s value and the art of working with it – we must facilitate it’s cultural revival and facillitate/enable developing country populations fairer deals around worker salaries and empower the formation of local businesses to Access and Utilise it appropriately in the modern context.
Bamboo Creative wants YOU – to be the change!
Now in the final phase of building our Bamboo “Tiny House” Earthship Skyscraper – we invite you to join our WORKSHOP PROGRAMS and learn skills for Bamboo Building, Design, Carpentry and Construction (Intensive Courses, Weekly Programs and Internships) and Bamboo project-based Workshops focused on carpentry, design, construction and sustainable systems such as vertical gardens, as well as experiential tours, and remote workshops. You can also join our Bamboo Craft and Small Design Project Day Workshops... as well as Kids Club Programs. And, we welcome you to be part of our Bamboo House-building project – to stay with us and learn skills in natural building with bamboo, cob, bottle/eco-bricks and recycled materials and craft/design: We offer VIP stays for those wanting to contribute to our Disability and Special Needs Program and also for those who would like to develop their own product from bamboo with sliding scale options for physical/financial contribution. Our programs are Inclusive and special needs support is available for groups and individuals.
Freyr’s Bamboo Sky-Kubu is intended to be a place where Freyr, my daughter who has special needs, can live, work and play – and where her friends (of all abilities) can come and be part of co-creating activities and events progressing towards an inclusive community business/social enterprise model and supportive learning space for skills and cultural exchange… We would like to share this space with local Yayasans/Charities and network with local and international organisations, foundations, individuals and families to collaboratively create awesome programs and activities; long stay, short stay and timeshare residential and day programs, and physical developments to cooperatively organise and establish shared-care activities and workshops where we can learn together, help each other and play – making a better life for everybody. (READ MORE)
The overall aim of this project is to provide a community space for young people and adults with disabilities to be and feel included in community life and activities: Practicing weaving, craft skills and other right-brain activities, healing modalities; and, 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 in ‘developing’ countries.
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 who helped me to take care of Freyr and gave me the support I needed when I had reached my own breaking point in being able to look after her alone (and the sense of isolation we experienced, as she got older, living in Australia). In Philippines, my daughter Freyr was able to be part of a FAMILY, and I was able to freed my focus and attention to learn about building while helping to make some livelihood projects for the families we stayed with. I hope to return to Palawan again and stay with the families in the beautiful and relatively unspoilt area of the hillsides behind Napsan (probably now like Bali was 30 years or so ago) and bring what I have learned and support their ability to access sustainable renewable technologies which can help improve living standards and ease/enable access to things we take for granted living in the western world – like running water and light at night.
Living in Palawan, I witnessed local living conditions and this sparked my interest in bamboo; and made me question why it wasn’t being used more by locals – and as to what the barriers are to bamboo becoming a sustainable building material there. Additionally, after realising that living INSIDE Earthships may not be so desirable in tropical environments (due to insufficient ventilation and high humidity) I started wondering how bamboo could be incorporated with Earthship design (back in 2014/15 after attending an Earthship volunteer building project in Batug, a small village in Leyte, the hardest hit area of typhoon Hian/Yolanda) with the intention of having an Earthship base and then a bamboo structure (main living space) above which could be evacuated in the case of a cyclone with the earthship base providing a cyclone/typhoon shelter…
I came to Bali initially to learn about bamboo preservation after finding that, when helping one family to build a small homestay house in Salacot, termites were a huge issue and reekers of mass destruction without heavy chemical treatment which I avidly wanted to avoid. Also bringing water to homes from nearby water sources to save time and energy manually carrying water was an issue (no electricity in this area). So I came to Bali expecting that the Green School was somewhere teaching this kind of stuff to people. It wasn’t at that time… but I toured the Green School buildings and visited the factory… none of which was seemed relevant to what I needed to learn. I started cottoning on to local knowledge, and met Djuka Montenero (Farmers Yard Hostel founder) through helpX and became fascinated with Indonesian bamboo carpentry and building techniques.
I realised that Bali was the place to learn about bamboo and helped Djuka build a Lumbung (traditional rice barn) from bamboo in 2016 which became the basis for our sky-kubu design in Denpasar/Seminyak (2017-2018) with the help of local carpenters and volunteers/visitors. I couldn’t quite convince the locals here in Bali on the use of car tyres and didn’t have enough expertise on earthship architecture/Biotecture myself … so decided to just focus on the bamboo building/structural side while incorporating up-cycling and ecobrick and cob/ earth building where possible. In Bali (where the most skilful bamboo builders and craftsmen are located) I have endeavoured to learn Everything I can about this material and to keep sharing along this journey.
It’s not the skills themselves… it’s the Environment we create practicing them… Bamboo has traditionally been a skill passed from one generation to another freely by experts/artisans and through it… The practical side taking me out of my thinking-mind and into my feeling-body… Maybe not quite like a knitting circle (I don’t know I’ve never been to one… and those crocheting circles in Australia seem quite dangerous-and-all with those CoalSeamGas Nanna’s going around the city crocheting trees and pushbikes). But it’s this “Being” state, and Connectedness, especially in the community-project sense, (drug-addicted rats prefer to be with other rats than take heroin) which nourishes me, actually. It takes more than a village to raise a special needs child… maybe a multi-layered international village will do the job… and It’s this state of Beingness and Connectedness … just sitting around/working hands-on with others, families and being the object of curiosity for neighbourhood kids – that feels quite Familyful (my new word for the day)..
Join our Day Workshops to learn how to design and build with bamboo and natural/renewable and recycled materials…
See how bamboo and up-cycled materials can be used in urban living. Join these workshops for practical hands-on opportunities to learn carpentry and building skills –
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:
Kids club program is running on Mondays and Thursdays by booking only: Working with bamboo, making toys and up-cycling materials. We offer 2 group sessions: Morning 9.30am – 12pm aimed at younger kids age 4-7 and afternoon 1pm – 3.30pm for older kids aged 8-12. We offer mobile workshops for regular programs with local schools/homeschoolers. See our Kids Club Page for more information
see our Kids Club page
Sustainable Sunday Tour 10.30am & Family Bamboo, Eco-brick & Cob Varied Topic Workshops 12.30pm-4.30pm
Invite us to facilitate a Eco-workshop/eco-event at your school or community centre… or come to our Bamboo House Project in Denpasar. We deliver a 3-part bamboo, ecobrick and cob hands-on contact workshop for learning skills in natural building with bamboo and cob, and incorporating responsible disposal of soft-plastic trash and building with it! We can cater for up to 20 people at our project site in Denpasar (or mobile). Contact us here to discuss further details:
Through our Social Exchange, visitors can join in our antics 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 at the nearby Sunrise School as a kind of work exchange. You must have/apply for a Social Budaya Visa to join this program. Through our VIP Internships 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 (COMING SOON) 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… please apply through our VIP INTERNSHIPS page. For anything else, please get in contact with us here:
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.
Intensive Learning Bamboo Workshops: From Harvesting, Cleaning and Treatment, to Preparing Foundations, Affordable Components and Carpentry, Design and Building – our courses are A-Z running over 6 weeks and divided into sections. Next Course starting in September 2021 ——> MORE
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 Internships 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 your ambitions. ——-> SEE AVAILABILITY and message for additional details.
Join Here to become part of our project and further our goal of sharing renewable technologies and knowledge of treatments methods for making bamboo a long-term sustainable resource in developing countries:
see the blog…Homepage
Bamboo Creative Bali is a collaborative joint project between Natalie Davenport, mother of Special Needs teenager Freyr (both from Australia) and local Indonesian craftsmen, designers, bamboo specialists, artists, and parents/carers/teachers of special needs kids locally and internationally.
This project has been entirely self-funded so far. It has been a means for me to develop my own skills and knowledge and fulfil my human potential outside of my caring role while finding avenues to help my daughter be part of an awesome inclusive community and contribute to quality care and facilities for special needs “Kids” here in Bali.
In the long term I aim to connect this project more widely with SE Asian and “western” communities enabling mutual benefits to communities empowered to participate in connecting our global family together through being present and inspired as part of a natural community environment and setting for our kids and living our purpose in giving to the Greater Good and forming a caring network of people and “human-enabling’ / “humaning” experiences.
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…
We would love your help to continue our progress on our bamboo house project!!!
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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 and/or teachers -which will enable this project to flourish…
Gift Cards which can be credited towards any of our programs, now and in future (valid for 3 years) may be purchased here: GIFT CARD PURCHASE
Check our more of our activities on Instagram.
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 eachother and honour our human qualities, time, skills, eachother 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…