Innovation That Matters

Upcycled micro-library

Indonesian micro-library is built with ice cream buckets


Architects SHAU Bandung’s microlibrary is made from 2,000 upcycled, plastic ice cream buckets that ventilate the air naturally.

Designed to be a hub for the neighborhood, the Taman Bima microlibrary in Bandung, Indonesia, is made from 2,000 used ice cream buckets. Created by architects SHAU Bandung with community input, the library is one of several pilot projects aimed at reversing the country’s falling literacy rate.

The tiny structure is packed with multiple levels of meaning and sustainability. At street level, the library is open for multi-purpose public use and has long rows of stairs for additional outdoor seating. The second level of the building is the library, which is clad in 2,000 used ice cream buckets. The recycled wall material provides ventilation and daylight. Through a mix of open and closed buckets, the wall design spells out in binary coding, “Books are the windows to the world.”

Increasing accessibility through miniaturization is a popular solution. We’ve seen microchips analyzing health, microgrids powering remote homes and micropayments supporting online publishers. In what other industries could going smaller bring improvement?



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