Architects start doing their bit in the fight against the pandemic
Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Architects start doing their bit in the fight against the pandemic

7 Apr 2020  •  News  •  By Tom Kolnaar

Several architecture offices started helping in the fight against the pandemic by 3D printing or laser cutting face masks and sharing open source templates for others to be able to do the same.

Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners designed a reusable visor prototype specifically designed for rapid mass production. They developed an open source template, as an alternative to 3D printing, for digital and laser cutting machines.

Courtesy of Foster + Partners

The visor, designed by a team of industrial engineers, modelmakers, architects and analysts, comprises of three components; a visor made from PETG (Polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified), an interlocking soft PP (Polypropylene) headband, and a surgical silicone rubber head strap that connects them. Each visor can be produced in 30 seconds cutting and one minute assembly. The open source template can be found here.

Courtesy of BIG

BIG switched their print farm to making masks for Mount Sinai and Cornell Hospitals. They turned an open source template, made by Erik Cederberg from 3DVerkstan, and adapted it to efficiently produce simplified face shields to protect medical teams on the front line.

With the adaptation for high volume printing, BIG is able to produce 5,000 visors a week. They shared their ‘plug and play’ G-Code for dual extrusion Ultimaker printers and Cura files here.


Institutions started doing what they can as well. MIT gathered protective equipment from their labs across their campus and sent them to hospitals in need. Recently they held a virtual ‘ideathon’ to develop solutions for the COVID-19 crisis.

Harvard GSD started to open up their lectures to the general public. The first by urban planner Daniel D’Oca can be seen at noon EDT here.

Yale opened up their most popular course on the Science of Well-being. Professor Laurie Santos takes you through a 5 week course to discover what actions you can take to become happier. 

NewCities is holding a webinar about Cities After COVID-19 on Public Space with Jeanne Gang, Christopher Hawthorne and Richard Sennett. To join the webinar you can register here.