The Bamboo Master Story

After studying Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design, I moved to Japan to apprentice under a master woodworker. I was particularly interested in traditional Japanese wood joinery, which uses no screws or nails and can last a thousand years.

I loved working with wood, but I knew that it was not a sustainable route forward, as it typically takes 40+ years to grow a single tree.

In 1995, I attended the 4th World Bamboo Congress in Bali, Indonesia and became deeply fascinated with bamboo as a sustainable alternative to wood. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Vietnam to set up a factory to produce laminated bamboo hardwood. 

Bamboo Master James Wolf hugs bamboo

Beginning in 1996, working with Bamboo Technologies Hawaii, I built prefabricated modular bamboo houses, that shipped worldwide from our factory in Vietnam.

Around that time, I discovered an incredibly strong, resilient and bug-proof species of bamboo called Tam Vong, or Iron Bamboo. Of the 2000+ bamboo species in the world, none can compare to Vietnamese Tam Vong. 

I have designed and constructed a wide variety of unique bamboo homes and resorts, as well as award-winning bamboo bicycles, home furniture and many more bamboo products.

Bamboo is lighter than aluminum, stronger than steel, more durable than carbon fiber, and doesn’t fail catastrophically like man made materials. It is also viscoelastic, which means it absorbs vibrations better than any other construction material.

Bamboo has great potential in a multitude of applications from transportation to air travel. Leveraging these unique qualities can make products not only greener but BETTER!  

I am constantly striving to stay on the cutting edge of eco-architecture, construction and design and I welcome collaborations of all kinds. 

James is a true master of bamboo – possessing boundless knowledge, wealth of experience, unbridled creativity and pure determination, James is able to give justice to this material and bring out the best of it; from design, to manufacturing, to project management, to construction, and anywhere else in between. Not only one of the leading lights in the field of bamboo, but also a remarkable human being that was a complete pleasure to work alongside with. Never one to shy away from challenges, he rises to them and was a critical factor in the success of The Arc Green School, not to mention all the other projects he helps steer all over the world.
Michael Boon

Former Head of Business Development, IBUKU, Managing Director, Bam By Boon

Let's build something together