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3D-Printed Body Architecture



3D-Printed Body Architecture

Neil Leach (Guest Editor), Behnaz Farahi (Guest Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-34018-8 December 2017 136 Pages

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Some architects dream of 3D-printing houses. Some even fantasise about 3D-printing entire cities. But what is the real potential of 3D printing for architects? This issue focuses on another strand of 3D-printing practice emerging among architects operating at a much smaller scale that is potentially more significant. Several architects have been working with the fashion industry to produce some exquisitely designed 3D-printed wearables. Other architects have been 3D-printing food, jewellery and other items at the scale of the human body. But what is the significance of this work? And how do these 3D-printed body-scale items relate to the discipline of architecture? Are they merely a distraction from the real business of the architect? Or do they point towards a new form of proto-architecture – like furniture, espresso makers and pavilions before them – that tests out architectural ideas and explores tectonic properties at a smaller scale? Or does this work constitute an entirely new arena of design? In other words, is 3D printing at the human scale to be seen as a new genre of 'body architecture'? This issue contains some of the most exciting work in this field today, and seeks to chart and analyse its significance.

Contributors include: Paola Antonelli/MoMA, Francis Bitonti, Niccolo Casas, Behnaz Farahi, Madeline Gannon, Eric Goldemberg/MONAD Studio, Kyle von Hasseln/3D Systems Culinary Lab, Rem D Koolhaas, Julia Kӧrner, Neil Leach, Steven Ma/Xuberance, Neri Oxman/MIT Media Lab, Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Gilles Retsin, Jessica Rosenkrantz/Nervous System, and Patrik Schumacher/Zaha Hadid Architects.

About the Guest-Editors 05
Neil Leach and Behnaz Farahi

Introduction What is 3D-Printed Body Architecture? 06
Neil Leach


A Grown Wardrobe for Bodies and Buildings 16
Neri Oxman

Curating the Digital

An Interview with MoMA’s Paola Antonelli 26
Neil Leach


Dialogues on Body, Protections and Derivatives 34
Niccolò Casas

Digitally Crafted Couture 40
Julia Koerner


Democratising Design Through Computation and Digital Fabrication 48
Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg

Mass Customisation

Designed in China, Produced Globally 58
Steven Ma

Micromechanical Assemblies and the Human Body 64
Francis Bitonti

Reinventing Shoes

United Nude 70
Rem D Koolhaas

Size Matters

Why Architecture is the Future of 3D Printing 76
Neil Leach

Material Behaviours in 3D-Printed Fashion Items 84
Behnaz Farahi

Clay Bodies

Crafting the Future with 3D Printing 92
Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello

Crystalline Tectonics

An Architect’s Guide to 3D-Printing Sugar or Anything Else 98
Kyle von Hasseln

Tectonism in Architecture, Design and Fashion

Innovations in Digital Fabrication as Stylistic Drivers 106
Patrik Schumacher

The Shape of Touch

On-Body Interfaces for Digital Design and Fabrication 114
Madeline Gannon

The Sonic Spectacle of the Enhanced Body 120
Eric Goldemberg

Counterpoint Teapots, Dresses and Chairs 126
Gilles Retsin

Contributors 134