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Lobster shell / Architectural Association / 2015-2016
Digital fabrication / AA School /EmTech

In this work, the shell of the American Lobster (Homarus americanus) from the family of crustaceans was selected as the object of study. The goal of the project was to gain an understanding of the fibre organization in the lobster shell and abstract general organization principles that were later translated into a design strategy to develop a material system for architectural applications.

The project explores “active fabrication”, in which a latex and plywood or polypropylene composite material system’s performance arise during the process of making. The work establishes a reciprocal approach to design in which fabrication, material arrangement and behaviour are an integral part of  the  design  process.  Material,  structure  and

form are thought of in parallel and the resulting geometries follow the intrinsic behavioural logic of the material. These are the first steps in the development of a material system that combines stretchable latex membranes with two-dimensionally-patterned plywood or polypropylene, which when combined result in complex 3D geometries with interesting behaviours, characteristics and performance.


Phase I:  Sally Al-Badry, Yorgos Berdos, Katya Bryskina, Cesar Cheng

Phase II:  EmTech Studio, AA School 


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