As part of the practice’s aim to strengthen connections between industry and academia, Foster + Partners has been working with Alessandro Felder, PhD candidate at the Royal Veterinary College, London, to study the relationship between structure and function in bone biology and architectural design at various scales.
Furthering work initiated within Foster + Partners, Felder and the practice’s Specialist Modelling Group have developed a Grasshopper plug-in that facilitates the design of three-dimensional, mechanically efficient space frames within free-form shapes. The work is inspired by the way bone cells respond to load.
This complements several other collaborative projects instigated by the practice, such as supporting PhD researchers from the Innochain network on advanced fabrication methods, and the LASIMM project exploring the potential of scaling up metal-based 3D printing, both as part of the EU Horizon 2020 initiative.
The research feeds into ongoing work on extra-planetary robotic construction, namely working alongside Branch Technology on the NASA 3D printed Mars habitat challenge to optimise and fabricate space frame structures.