Challenge 1: Sweet Home Alabama

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by Emily Rutter and Fiona Wood

Exhibition Brief

Technology connects us to others far away, but also distances us from personal interactions. In this new age, it is easy for our ties to community and family to weaken. The Sweet Home Alabama project challenges designers to repurpose bamboo to create a modern home to bring the family closer together. Bamboo is no longer a plant of the past, but a tool for constructing strong buildings and cool technology, and changing our idea of fashion, food, and furniture. Step inside this innovative house, fusing our roots with modernity as we connect back to our family and our home.

Branding Benefits

Sweet Home Alabama is about uniting the family under one roof, merging the old with the new. While giving American designers freedom to create new technology, furniture, fashion, and food, we will be able to display the versatility, strength, and beauty of bamboo in one entity. It plays on our concept of an older, country home being brought into the new age with the use of bamboo, encouraging us to appreciate modern technology with a natural face. When people see the possibilities of bamboo, we’d like them to think, “Wow, that’s a sweet home!” What better way to repurpose “Sweet Home Alabama” (just like we are doing with bamboo) than to promote the use of bamboo in this awesome new house?

Furthermore, the exhibit will be interactive and educational, appealing to all ages. The adaptability and flexibility of the bamboo plant to create strong products will be demonstrated through example and through documentaries of the construction and design process. Bamboo can branch the old with the new, bamboo can bring us together, and bamboo can represent America through Sweet Home Alabama. Exhibit entrance fees will directly benefit the Black Belt region of Alabama, promoting the name and the growth of bamboo in the area.

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