Missed Milan Design Week? A 3D printed installation made of bioplastic

Commissioned by COS, architectural firm Mamou-Mani designed a large scale 3D printed architectural installation made from bioplastic, which was on display during Milan Design Week.

Conifera, as the project is called, was created from seven hundred interlocking modular bricks, made from a mix of wood and bioplastic. The installation shifted from bricks made from a wood and bioplastic composite through translucent bioplastic blocks in the garden of the 16th century Palazzo Isimbardi. The material is made from fully compostable resources and printed in the form of interlocking structural lattices, allowing light to permeate the structure.

The bricks come in three different colours. The brown ones are made with wood, the white ones are coloured with pigment and the translucent ones are made from PLA in its purest form.

The installation takes its name from the Conifer tree, the wood of which was used to create the structure. In addition, the shape of pine cone inspired the design, as two bricks together resemble the shape of a cone.

The bricks were created through an open-source software, using parametric design to maintain structural stability while optimising the use of materials.

Inspired by patterns within the palazzo’s architecture, architect Arthur Mamou-Mani explained, “The geometry of Conifera comes from the square motif which is very present at Palazzo Isimbardi, through the courtyard to the tiles. I wanted the piece to echo the circular nature of the compostable material and create a journey from architecture to nature in order to showcase how renewable materials, coupled with an algorithmic approach and distributed 3D printing, can create the building blocks of the future.”

For more Milan Design Week projects, click here.

Photos: COS / Mamou-Mani