- Project Name
- Bionic Partition
- Project Types
- Shared by
Approached by Airbus to design an interior partition for the A320 airplane, The Living balanced fixed parameters of use and physical size with a series of performance goals that included minimizing weight and maximizing the ability to withstand G-forces while supporting an unbalanced load during a crash landing. Merging biology and architecture, The Living mimicked the biological growth patterns of slime mold—a series of efficient linear structures that reinforce the whole—to optimize a new structural system for the panel. Why a biological precedent? For self-organization, which The Living’s long-time collaborator biologist Ali Brivanlou of Rockefeller University describes as “the common denominator between the different topics of biology that could have a direct influence on the way that humans design structures.” In slime mold, as with all organic cells, "the knowledge of organizing a structure in the most optimum adaptive way is contained in each unit of that structure.” The Living used an algorithm to generate thousands of design options for the structural system, ultimately choosing an optimized final version made from 162 3D-printed parts that is lighter and stronger than the industry’s standard partition.
Project: Bionic Partition, Hamburg, Germany
Client: Airbus Project Team: The Living, New York . David Benjamin (founder and principal); Danil Nagy (project lead), Damon Lau, Dale Zhao, Jim Stoddart, John Locke, AIA, Ray Wang
Airbus Team: Bastian Schäfer (project lead), Jörg Schuler, Peter Sander, Jens Telgkamp, Tobias Mayer, Martial Somda, Stefan Holst
AP Works 3D Printing: Joachim Zettler, Felix Rothe, Andreas Nick
Steering Committee: Jeff Kowalski, Ingo Wuggetzer, Stefan List, Gonzalo Martinez
Simulation Consulting: Nanda Santhanam, Ian Pendlebury, Francesco Iorio, Sualp Ozel, Emmanuel Weyermann, Jonathan den Hartog, David Weinberg
To see more projects from The Living, see our Q+A with David Benjamin from the January 2018 issue of ARCHITECT, part of What's Next: Reprogramming Practice.