Bamboo Contemporary: Green Houses Around the Globe
Bamboo Contemporary: Green Houses Around the Globe

Bamboo Contemporary: Green Houses Around the Globe

Bamboo has been heralded as the building material of the future—a pliable solution for architects and builders seeking sustainable methods and materials to drive decarbonisation. But, bamboo’s past is just as rich as its potential—and it’s both new and nothing new at the same time. This duality has been at the heart of some of the most inspiring architectural designs around the world built with bamboo over the last 15 years at vastly different scales, yet all to great effect, from Brazil to China to the Czech Republic to Ecuador to France to the United States and beyond. Despite sourcing challenges and supply chain difficulties, the future of renewable materials like bamboo must be as promising as architecture’s future is productive for the health of our planet.

William Richards is a writer, architectural historian, consultant to the architecture and construction industries, and author of Bamboo Contemporary: Green Houses Around the Globe (Princeton Architectural Press, 2022), Together by Design: The Art and Architecture of Communal Living (Princeton Architectural Press, 2022), Revolt and Reform in Architecture’s Academy: Urban Renewal, Race, and the Rise of Design in the Public Interest (Routledge, 2017), and a forthcoming book about mass timber at the residential scale (Schiffer, 2024).

His research focuses on the business, culture, and practice of architecture, cities, and design, and his work has appeared in journals, magazines, and newspapers including Architect Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Art New England, Center, Competitions Magazine, CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship, EcoHome, Eco-Structure, Frame Magazine, Future Anterior, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Old House Journal, Residential Architect, and the Providence Journal, among other publications. Bill has also lectured widely and moderated panel discussions for the Association of American Geographers; the American Institute of Architects, City College of New York, the National Building Museum, and Washington National Cathedral.

Bill is co-founder and editorial director of Team Three, an editorial and creative consultancy based in Washington, DC, whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, private enterprises, non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, and universities. He holds a doctorate in the history of architecture from the University of Virginia.