Tessa’s Designer Pick – MEAN* and 3D Printing


Tessa Blokland  

Detail of a 3D printed lamp. Design by MEAN*

I would like to start the month of June with a non-European Designer Pick. MEAN* stands for Middle East Architecture Network, and is a Dubai-based practice, focussing on architecture, design, and technology. The company is one of the few that attracted my attention, for some of their amazing 3D printed structures small and large.

Let’s start with their smallest 3D printed structure. What you see here is a detail of their SLA 3D printed lamp, Tutuncka 2.0 (also up top). There are several 3D printed shapes, but from each only one will ever be made.

What you see here is a scale 1:5 3D printed model for a bus stop. Sadaf, as the project is called, is a proposal for a future where 3D printing could be used to build the infrastructure of the city of Dubai. The inspiration for the shape of the shelter is inspired by the form of the seashells found on the beaches of the city.

The next project is a 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous, placed in front of and commissioned by the Dubai International Financial Center. The pavilion consists of 3D printed stem-shaped structures, made from a plastic polymer up-cycled from 30,000 discarded water bottles. As the website mentions, the pavilion is an exploration of scaling processes in the architectural realm. Here is a nice video of the making of Deciduous.

The two following proposals are not realized yet, but in these architectural structures MEAN* is planning to use 3D printing technology. For the Expo 2020 Dubai, MEAN* proposed an 8-meter 3D printed concrete columns, which will be situated on a roundabout and will for sure be an eye-catching 3D printed landmark for the event.

The same goes for the 3D printed desert pavilion in Jordan, which MEAN* designed. The website explains: “The design team utilized generative design methods to simulate a holistic structure: a hybrid of a 3D printed polymer shell on 3D printed concrete topography. Inspired by the ingenuity of the mobile architecture of the local bedouins, a ‘mesh relaxation’ parametric strategy was used to develop a tent-like form, which generates a digital catenary mesh geometry, in equilibrium. The team envisions a unique structural system of 3D printed panels that can be deployed onto a CNC bent network of steel pipes”. Definitely worthwhile visiting…

Founder and lead architect Riyad Joucka.

LEO Lane_Designer Pick_MEAN* and 3D Printing

Each of Tessa’s designer pick is a curated group of 3D printed designs or projects from one designer or design studio. If you would like to offer a designer or design studio for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed designs or projects you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest picks every week in your mailbox.

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