SMG focusses on three core areas, Geometry and Building Physics and Innovation. The Geometry team works on complex geometrical modelling and fabrication strategies. The Building Physics team looks at the movement of natural light, air and sound, while focussing on occupant comfort. The Innovation projects include collaborative research with universities and industry partners, exploring far-reaching ideas from bio-inspired engineering to extra-planetary 3D printing.
The geometrical parametric modelling of complex facades and roofs was the genesis of the SMG team at Foster + Partners and it is still at the core of our activities. Geometry modelling can be very widely applied from product design to pattern design.
We look at the way light, heat, air and sound move through a building and how those affect occupants’ perception.
Our current design research and innovation work is focused on five thematic areas: Technology, Design, Materials, Environment, and Futures. These have been driving change in architecture and helping transform the construction industry with the adoption of robotics, additive manufacture, augmented reality, drones, and other physical tools. Our work in this area involves forging collaborations with industrial partners to co-develop new technologies and help bring them to market.
SMG’s role within Foster + Partners is to actively engage in research which deepens levels of understanding and to investigate opportunities that spring from new technologies and adjacent fields. Research extends into extra-planetary habitation, machine learning, self-organisation, biological evolution, adaptive structures, autonomous systems, fabrication with robots, material deposition and remote sensing.