Xavier De Kestelier: Adventures of an interplanetary architect
Xavier De Kestelier is an architect and technologist with a passion for human space exploration. Full bio
Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.
to an exhibition on space,
I think it was 1988,
between the Americans and the Russians
they brought a Mir space station.
and check it all out.
where the wires were,
where they were working.
I started drawing spaceships.
science fiction spaceships, no.
would be made out of,
where the screws were.
become a space engineer,
that I've been involved with
quite different shapes,
for different environments.
becomes really interesting
have been all over the world.
this map wasn't good enough.
a project on the Moon
at a habitation on Mars.
the precedents that are there.
it's kind of difficult, of course,
I wasn't even born yet,
a long camping trip, isn't it,
on another planet or a moon,
how to get it there.
to the Moon's surface,
by seven meters, not that much.
or compactable, and light,
to a very harsh environment like the Moon.
it could be 100 degrees Celsius
it could be minus 100 degrees.
any magnetic fields,
solar radiation, cosmic radiation --
from that as well,
will not get burned up,
the astronauts from that.
and we need mass.
ourselves from the temperatures,
as you can see.
and a lot of lab space,
the support structures in,
that domed structure,
to get this material from?
from Earth to the Moon?
because it's way too heavy.
and use local materials.
we deal with on Earth as well.
or whatever country we build in,
what are the local materials here?
what are the local materials?
regolith, Moon regolith.
up to a few meters everywhere.
what a 3D printer is,
probably something about this size
that are about this size.
a massive 3D printer to the Moon
something like this one here.
a small robot rover,
a thin layer of regolith,
the robot that will solidify it,
structure that we're printing,
is a closed-cell foam structure.
to solidify certain parts,
less binder from Earth,
with a protective dome
printing these dome structures.
between Mars and the Moon,
and the real distance,
Curiosity, looking back at Earth.
that's Earth, 400 million kilometers away.
of the Earth to the Moon, pretty far away,
with, for example, the Curiosity rover.
would take 20 minutes to get to Mars.
before it can tell me,
doesn't arrive at Mars.
just one or two rovers
a termite's mound, you know?
of the colony of the termites away,
to build the mound.
or robots don't arrive,
but you will still be able to do it.
three different rovers.
and bringing it to the structure.
the little ones with the little legs,
and sit on a layer of regolith
create that dome structure.
It's a small swarm.
to move sand around,
or giving them a predescribed path.
an obstacle, like a rock,
their batteries died,
to finish that task.
we decided to do three domes,
each of the domes
built in the floor,
well, this is pretty crazy.
get involved in space?
or a design view,
and really constrained problems.
a place for design and architecture
ABOUT THE SPEAKERXavier De Kestelier - Architect, technologist
Xavier De Kestelier is an architect and technologist with a passion for human space exploration.
Why you should listen
Xavier De Kestelier is interested in designing long-term space habitats and believes that architects have a crucial role to play in the design of any future settlements on Mars or the moon. He has worked on research projects with both ESA and NASA and is interested to see how 3D printed structures could protect astronauts from solar radiation, meteorites and extreme temperatures.
He was previously co-Head of Foster + Partners' Specialist Modelling Group (SMG), the architecture practice’s multi-disciplinary research and development group.
Over the years De Kestelier has been a Visiting Professor at Ghent University, Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University and a Teaching Fellow at The Bartlett School of Architecture. Since 2010, he has been one of the directors of Smartgeometry, a non-profit educational organisation for computational design and digital fabrication.
Based in London, De Kestelier is currently principal and executive board member at international design practice HASSELL where he leads the global efforts in design technology and digital innovation.
Xavier De Kestelier | Speaker | TED.com