IIT Guwahati designs bamboo furniture for hospitals

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Department of Design at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) has designed bamboo furniture to meet the requirements of Primary Health Centers (PHC’s) in rural villages of Assam.

Bamboo craft forms an important economic driver in the northeast region of India. However, for a craft that is so prevalent in the region, its effective utilisation for public community facilities such as health centres in rural areas was limited and this particular project by IIT-G demonstrated the potential.

The project is targeted towards a sustainable and participatory design approach by utilizing locally available materials, craftsmanship manpower led by the active participation of local government departments to achieve these goals.

“The current epidemic crisis has unfolded, requiring self-reliance on sustainable solutions that are contextually appropriate to meet the needs of the community,” said Ravi Mokashi Punekar, IIT Guwahati’s design department.

The IIT Guwahati team believes that the designs they have developed are a “reasonable and sustainable solution” to meet the needs of local infrastructure and create employment opportunities for craft-persons using bamboo and cane available in the region.

Around 200 beds can be manufactured per day, according to the IIT-G design department

Given the current pandemic situation, if the situation arises, the bamboo furniture range will help in meeting the high demand required for patients admitted for treatment, the department said.

The design team has offered to share the designs with Guwahati Medical Hospital in Guwahati.

The design team is already in touch with two local entrepreneurs who have agreed to undertake the manufacture of a simpler version of the hospital bed.