The Ajiro bamboo vehicle is home grown in more ways than one

How cool is the Ajiro – a bamboo tricycle created by Monash University industrial design student, Alexander Vittouris?  On looks alone it is impressive, but upon delving a bit further its whole design approach may just revolutionise the way in which products are made in the future.

Ajiro, Alexander Vittouris, bamboo bike, bamboo vehicle, bamboo manipulation, eco design, sustainable design

Rather than using energy intensive processes to bend sustainable bamboo into shape post harvest, Alexander’s unique approach involves manipulating the bamboo stalks during the plant’s growth process. Tension is applied to the bamboo stalks as they grow over a reusable skeletal sub structure, that forms the structural basis of the vehicle. The natural energy from the plant does all the rest!

Ajiro, Alexander Vittouris, bamboo bike, bamboo vehicle, bamboo manipulation, eco design, sustainable design

Ajiro, Alexander Vittouris, bamboo bike, bamboo vehicle, bamboo manipulation, eco design, sustainable design

The Ajiro is functional too – Part bike, part vehicle, it provides a roof over your head to protect you from the elements, there’s a storage section in the under carriage and your legs provide the pedal power.

Whether the Ajiro is accepted as a viable mode of transport is not important.  What makes the Ajiro a winner in our book is this new approach to product design, taking the full cradle to grave product lifecycle thinking to a whole new level – Can’t wait to see farmlands full of bamboo manipulated over various structures!

Ajiro, Alexander Vittouris, bamboo bike, bamboo vehicle, bamboo manipulation, eco design, sustainable design

The Ajiro is a current finalist for the James Dyson Award, as part of the Australian Design Awards. The winners will be announced this Friday.

(Images courtesy of Australian Design Awards)

 

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8 Comments

  • Meagan says:

    love it!

  • and it moves too – well done – i remember here were some ideas like these from kenya africa long time ago, not rickshaws, but bikes …and some of entrepreneur tried to sell bamboo bikes to NYC. I am not sure if those were a commercial success, but this idea here is definitely worth a try and worth perfecting it – it is good fore environment so good for all of us…well done alex

  • Bring this baby on the road with the Roadshow!!!
    For real – contact volunteer@sustainablelivingroadshow.org – we would love to showcase this bike nation-wide for you or with you!

  • Wolverine says:

    how this turn left or turn right?

  • Uomoviso says:

    Wolverine, the front wheel drives the bike and the rear wheels turn it.

  • jenny says:

    Wolverine, you will see there are two lever handles in the centre of the base which are attached to a rope pulley underneath the vehicle which steer the rear wheels- The pedals are on the front wheelwheel! Would love to see how fast this baby can go!

  • Alexander Vittouris says:

    Hi everyone, just to confirm, the front wheel is designed as a 1:1 hub with freewheel. There are other options for greater speed, such as multi-speed hubs for unicycles. Furthermore, a small chain and derailleur could be added with an additional substructure (could be made from bamboo as well), and could give as many gears as a bike. There are additional considerations with top speed that need to be considered with velomobiles… this design is more upright than conventional velomobiles for greater visibility. There is always the danger that excessive speed with high cg could create a rollover situation without suspension. These ideas may be incorporated into subsequent design revisions.

  • Jim Tuckers says:

    Maybe there’s a semantic difference across oceans, but I’m not sure why you wrote “part bike, part vehicle”. My bike may be a good friend, a work of beauty, and a magnet for dates, but I also consider it a vehicle.

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