Skip to content
Home » Blog » Inspiring Dutch Bamboo Education & Community Collaboration | ThinkBamboo Podcast

Inspiring Dutch Bamboo Education & Community Collaboration | ThinkBamboo Podcast

Tune into the #ThinkBamboo Podcast, Ep.39 with Melvin Kolk, founder of BambooBuilds, with the mission to educate Dutch-speaking individuals about bamboo. Discover Melvin’s journey from studying architecture to pioneering modern bamboo furniture and launching the Bamboo Builders Academy. Gain insights into the innovative courses designed by Melvin and his girlfriend Britt, aimed at transforming perceptions of bamboo and educating the next generation. Learn about the collaboration efforts within the bamboo community and the importance of visible bamboo structures in public spaces.

Video Podcast Interview

Video: ThinkBamboo Podcast with JJ and Melvin Kolk, BambooBuilds Dutch Bamboo Education

Video Quick Links

00:00 Introduction and Bamboo Journey
02:46 Discovering Bamboo in Bali
07:55 The Potential of Bamboo
13:56 Creating Modern Bamboo Furniture
23:38 Changing the Perception of Bamboo
27:20 Educating Dutch People about Bamboo
32:38 Collaboration within the Bamboo Community
33:22 Reaching out to Universities and Schools
36:03 Showcasing Bamboo in Public Spaces

The ThinkBamboo Podcast serves as a platform to inspire, educate, and share the use of bamboo with an ever-growing audience. The ThinkBamboo Podcasts are available on the Website, YouTube, SpotifyTikTokApple Podcast if you like the content please do support by liking, commenting and subscribing.


The Journey of BambooBuild

Melvin Kolk, the visionary founder of BambooBuilds, embarked on his bamboo journey after graduating as an architectural engineer. Driven by a passion for sustainable materials, Melvin’s quest led him to Bali, where he discovered the impressive potential of bamboo in construction. Mesmerized by the strength and versatility of bamboo structures, he immersed himself in learning traditional bamboo construction techniques from local Balinese experts.

Upon returning to the Netherlands, Melvin was determined to change the perception of bamboo as an unpopular building material. Recognizing its rapid growth cycle, strength, and superior CO2 absorption capabilities, he saw bamboo as a key solution to the rising demand for sustainable building materials. This realization fueled the creation of BambooBuilds in 2022, where Melvin began crafting modern bamboo furniture and inspiring others to explore bamboo’s incredible potential.

Dutch Bamboo Academy

To further spread the knowledge and benefits of bamboo, Melvin, along with his girlfriend Britt van Steen, launched the Bamboo Builders Academy. This online platform aims to educate Dutch-speaking individuals about bamboo as a plant and a building material. The Academy offers a comprehensive theory course and a main course that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, empowering students to design and build with bamboo.


Melvin and Britt are committed to changing the perception of bamboo and promoting its numerous benefits. They emphasize the need for collaboration within the bamboo community and actively reach out to universities and schools to educate the younger generation. By showcasing the possibilities of bamboo structures in public spaces, they hope to inspire a broader acceptance and adoption of bamboo in construction.

European Bamboo Expo 2024

Networking Experience & Future Recognizing the widespread lack of knowledge about bamboo across Europe, Melvin and Britt decided to participate in the European Bamboo Expo. This event provides a platform for BambooBuilds to connect with other bamboo enthusiasts and companies, exchange knowledge, and support each other’s missions. The Expo is also an opportunity to showcase their unique bamboo furniture designs and inspire others with the potential of bamboo.

Photo: Melvin and Britt exhibiting BambooBuild at the European Bamboo Expo
Photo: Melvin and Britt exhibiting BambooBuild at the European Bamboo Expo

Melvin and Britt believe that the European Bamboo Expo is the perfect venue to advance their goals of promoting bamboo as a sustainable building material and fostering a collaborative bamboo community. By participating in the Expo, they aim to drive a significant change in the perception and use of bamboo, not just in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe.

In conclusion, Melvin Kolk’s journey with BambooBuilds and the Bamboo Builders Academy exemplifies a passionate commitment to sustainable building practices. Through education, collaboration, and innovation, Melvin and Britt are paving the way for a bamboo-driven future, inspiring individuals and communities to embrace this remarkable material.