Sustainable design in a simple manner usually involves the impact of the things we design - their manufacturing process, time of use, and final disposal - on the earth's environment. In India, I was exposed to a different definition and concept of "sustainable design," some similar to the West, and some rather different. When a particular object is related to its context, it becomes a part of the living system, making it human-centered and deeply rooted in the culture. It has to do more by defining a relationship between the object and the user environment. In order to attain sustainability in design, renewable materials and product systems play major roles in the entire process. In India, bamboo is available in abundance. As bamboo has many ecological and economic benefits, it is considered as one of the most versatile and sustainable materials. Many of the hand-made products from bamboo involve different weaving patterns that define structural strength and at the same time look aesthetically pleasant. People prefer hand tools to manufacture handmade products, as the tools require less maintenance, not need of power and are inexpensive to maintain. My objective in this research process was to improve the manufacturing systems by designing a hand tool, which can hold and split the bamboo efficiently. My design development process involved; to study impact of renewable materials on the environment, data collection of existing manufacturing systems for bamboo, to interview the locals regarding their needs of simple affordable manufacturing tool to split bamboo, to study and implement simple interface to use the tool. The tool, which I designed; is portable, has no power requirement, and is cost effective with less maintenance - very important features of the tool that could be used by the locals in rural areas. The tool has very few parts to assembly avoiding the difficulty for the users to go through the instructions, as most of the users are not literate and cannot read the instructions. This thesis paper encourages designers and more over the manufacturing industry to consider renewable resources, design for the environment, improved manufacturing systems and at the same time involves socio-cultural tradition, economic factors, which are equally significant for material and product development.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bamboo construction; Sustainable architecture; Tools--Design and construction

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Reddig, Alan

Advisor/Committee Member

Thorn, Brian


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TH4818.B3 K46 2010


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