In May, students from Ramtin Haghnazar’s ARCH 5134 Integrated Computational Design and Fabrication course completed a project entitled “Bamboo Play,” an installation that explored the synergy of computational design and sustainable materials in architecture. Supported by their instructor and project manager, Haghnazar, and their project advisor and principal investigator, Associate Professor Jonas Hauptman, the students designed and built a bamboo structure containing 346 distinct elements.

The form married artistry and engineering while also showcasing the students’ mastery of computational design principles. It effectively harnessed the unique properties of bamboo, pushing the boundaries of sustainable construction through mathematical methods such as computational form finding, mesh relaxation and dueling patterns. The students also considered the natural (not industrial) properties of bamboo, using subtraction methods to create a flat surface that effectively joined the units. This effort was aided by research work from BioDesign Research Group (BDRG, @vt_biodesign), marking the culmination of a 4-year exploration to re-tool bamboo. “Bamboo Play” will be installed at the Hahn Horticulture Garden in the fall semester, so please stay tuned!


  • Ramtin Haghnazar - Teacher and Project Manager
  • Jonas Hauptman - Project Advisor and Research Principal Investigator
  • Yasaman Ashjazadeh - TA, Design and Fabrication Associate
  • Susan Liu - TA
  • Saeed Sakhdari - TA
  • Mohammad Hossein Karimian - Volunteer TA, Design Associate
  • Wei Hong - Student
  • Dane Sosna - Student
  • Rachana Ganesh Shenoy - Student
  • Devanshi Alpeshbhai Sangani - Student
  • Aditi Anil Hadkar - Student
  • Tharun Bhalaji Srinivasan - Student
  • Amrita Adhikari - Student
  • Makila J Carr - Student
  • Jenna Leigh Freireich - Student
  • Ava Davari Dehkordi - Student
  • Ronn Bi Ojes - Student
  • Serin Siji - Student
  • Aishwarya Reddy - Student
  • Nina Pourkhodagholi - Student
  • Sara Saghafi - Collaborator
  • Vincent Zaw - Volunteer
  • Elena Lingmei Ahwee-Marrah - Volunteer
  • Thae Thae Su San - Volunteer

The BDRG is supported by previous grants from these external research sponsors:

  • American Institute of Architecture, Upjohn Award
  • American Institute of Architecture New York

Internal (VT) research sponsors:

  • Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
  • Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities

Special thanks to Professor Kay Edge and the Graduate Program of Architecture.