Bambulance 2

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Niki Dun created the Bicycle Ambulance in 2003, to provide emergency transportation to underserviced communities in rural sub-saharan Africa. The project lead to the creation of the Design for Development Society, a non-profit which is currently coordinating the production of more than sixty Bicycle Ambulances in Namibia. Building on Dun’s innovative solution, Philippa Mennell and Chris Ryan (at the time, students at Emily Carr University) worked with Design for Development and community partners in Kenya to create the Bambulance – a bicycle ambulance constructed from bamboo and other locally available materials.

Composed almost entirely of bamboo, bicycle inner tube, and reused trucking tarp, the Bambulance is designed to be affordable to community members, utilizing local materials and trade skills in its construction.

Inspired by skin-on-frame building techniques, the chassis frame and stretcher are fabricated using simple hand tools and craft processes, making the parts easy to assemble and disassemble for repair and replacement. Bamboo – an underutilized locally available resource in Western Kenya and other African regions – is inexpensive, sustainable, lightweight and strong.

An inspiring example of open source, socially responsible design, the Bambulance is a finalist for the Index:Award Design To Improve Life! The recognition is well deserved.

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