Xavier De Kestelier will become principal and head of design technology and innovation at HASSELL, following more than 16 years heading the specialist modelling group at Foster + Partners.

Mr De Kestelier has worked on some of the most complex building projects in the world, including Apple’s Cupertino HQ, The Smithsonian Museum in Washington and Beijing Airport. He has also led research projects into large-scale 3D printing, including working with NASA and the European Space Agency to investigate the potential of 3D printing on the Moon and Mars.

His skill set is in parametric design, digital fabrication, computational design, rapid prototyping, augmented/virtual reality and the use of robotics in design.

HASSELL chief executive Gerard Corcoran said the appointment was a response to changing times and needs.

“As a practising architect and technologist, Xavier joins HASSELL at a time of major global change which calls for leadership in design technology, innovation and research,” Mr Corcoran said.

Mr De Kestelier said that change was an exciting proposition for the company.

“It pushes us to innovate and explore new possibilities,” he said. “Not only does it help us continually build our internal skill set at HASSELL but also delivers greater value for our client.

“HASSELL is working on some innovative and highly technical projects around the world and I’m excited to work with the team to push the boundary of possibilities in architecture and design.”

Mr De Kestelier will be based in London.