Tag Archives: workshop

Bamboo Trees: Building with Bamboo in the Laos Jungle

For 3 weeks in April, I had the fantastic opportunity to assist in hosting Building Trust’s latest design + build workshop in the Laos jungle. With a team of international volunteers, Laos workers and Building Trust staff we completed the build of an innovative fundraising merchandise store for Free the Bears.


Following the construction of several built projects in South East Asia using natural materials and seeing the growing interest and response in sustainable design and natural materials such as bamboo. Building Trust organised a Design + Build workshop to be held at Kuang Si Falls on the outskirts of Luang Prabang with Free the Bears. Working alongside Atelier COLE, a new merchandise store was designed and built which educates both workshop participants and the high volume of annual tourist visitors to the Tat Kuang Si Park on building with bamboo.


Free the Bears work tirelessly to combat the illegal trade in live bears and provide a safe sanctuary for any rescued bears at Tat Kuang Si Rescue Centre. Most of the bears at the centre are Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears) that were illegally captured from the wild as young cubs. It is likely that they were destined for use in the traditional medicine trade. The merchandise store will enable Free the Bears to sell items such as T-shirts, in order to receive much needed donations to allow them to continue their ongoing efforts to protect bears in Laos and beyond.


The fluted fountain like canopies protect the deck area by catching rain water and passing it through the gravel filled, hollow, circular foundation footings. As with all Building Trust projects the Bamboo Trees project worked closely with the local community who in this case were Khmu. They assisted in sharing local skills such as bamboo, rattan weaving and palm thatching which were later used to develop the roof of the structure.


The bamboo is complimented by rope (around 10 kilometres) that spirals around the structure, weaving each piece together and creating strength from the whole. The resulting tensegrity structures lean against each other in a tripartite vault.



You can see more photos of the construction of Bamboo Trees Here and be sure to check out more about Free The Bears!

Thanks for reading!


Design + Build in Italy – August 2015

Italy Design and Build poster opt 2
I am very happy to announce details of Building Trust international’s latest Design + Build workshop which will be held in Italy in August 2015.
Design + Build Workshop, Italy 2015

What will workshop participants learn?

We are happy to announce that we will be working with “Terraepaglia”, a group of artisan handicraft experts who specialize in natural construction methods. Along with creating innovative buildings from earth and straw, Terraepaglia aim to publicize and educate on the use of natural materials and local techniques, that are often considered obsolete and less efficient than modern techniques. The value of this project is in the creation of functional spaces to communicate the importance of sustainable architecture, made of local reused materials.

This is a hands on course working with others to learn on-site skills such as:

  • Adobe bricks mixing and making
  • Soil testing
  • Straw bale construction
  • Rammed earth
  • Wattle and daub walls
  • Natural plastering
  • Wood flooring
When:  The fun bit with hands on lessons in the techniques mentioned above Mon 17th August – Sat 29th August 2015
If you would like to take part in our latest workshop please email info@buildingtrustinternational.org and check out more on our partners Terraepaglia
Thanks for reading,


I am very fortunate to have a group of very talented friends who support Building Trust and constantly think of new ways to help promote the charity and raise further funding for our projects. One of my friends whom I went to high school with many moons ago is Hannah Bailey. Hannah recently set-up a very exciting and colourful new PR and creative agency called Neon Stash. From corporate to core brands, unique local projects to giant global events her agency documents all things creative in the skate, snow and surf world. A few weeks ago Hannah contacted me with the idea of throwing an event to help promote Neon Stash while also raising funds for Building Trust.

As both of our brands create exciting projects around the World, it seemed like a great collaboration. Neon Stash came up with the idea for a creative event called #TieDyeHighFive.


‘Tie Dye High Five’ created the first ever pop-up Tie Dye event to be located at BOXPARK, Shoreditch. The colourful weekend, was sponsored by DYLON and Monkee Genes, and saw hundreds of creators come to tie-dye, dip-dye or DIY on their chosen canvas. Neon Stash held weekend long workshops where participants could pay to attend the workshop and bring their whites to tie dye and create some new colourful clothing! The launch night held a raffle with prizes donated by Monster Energy UK, DC Shoes UK, Nikita Clothing, Love N Skate and COPSON ST.  Monkee Genes who co-sponsor the event also provided 70 pairs of white jeans which Neon Stash were able to sell at the event with £5 from each sale being donated to Building Trust! We would like to thank all of those who donated and to the Neon Stash team who spent the weekend promoting Building Trust while getting colourful!

I am very happy to share with you a great little video showing what happened over the weekend at the #TieDyeHighFive event

Click the link below to see the video:


I have just received great news from Hannah that we raised over £150 over the weekend. This funding will help to assist in the many Building Trust projects which are currently taking place around the World. At the event we asked Neon Stash to use our JustTextGiving campaign so the workshop attendees could donate in the easiest and quickest method. In order to donate via JustTextGiving please text FUND41 £10 to 70070 from a UK mobile.

Check out some photos from the event below:

#TieDyeHighFive workshop attendees
#TieDyeHighFive workshop attendees
Neon Stash Founder and #TieDyeHighFive creator - Hannah Bailey
Neon Stash Founder and #TieDyeHighFive creator – Hannah Bailey

If you are in need of PR assistance or creative development we suggest you get in contact with Neon Stash and create an exciting event for your organisation!