An unprecedented issue, sea level rise, will affect numerous countries and substantial populations, especially those located on the world’s smallest islands and low-lying coastal countries. Approximately 5% of the world’s total population currently inhabit small islands and their continued existence on these atolls, beyond 2100, is in grave danger.

With continued research being undertaken on the natural wave energy dispersion properties of coral reefs, further application of biomimetic engineering solutions and improvements in additive manufacturing techniques using geopolymer concrete, or similar substrates, a new design solution is possible – an offshore, floating, partially-submerged modular breakwater that possess an 3D printed coral reef inspired façade.


Design by Data - Student Portfolio - T Leeson

Tim Leeson

Computational Designer / Co-founder of thr34d5.
Co-founder & Editor of Gippslandiaquarterly newspaper showcasing Gippsland, Australia.
Former Intern with MakerSpace at Volumes Coworking.
Former Coastal Numerical Modeller with the Ports & Marine Terminals team at Advisian, Cape Town, South Africa.

Tim enjoy the ocean; riding waves, swimming under waves, studying waves, as well as modelling waves and coastal processes. Having studied Coastal Engineering, being the Editor of the world's largest bodyboarding magazine, assisting with a 1:10 scale physical model of a wave pool and exploring a new coastal protection technique for his thesis, the ocean forms a common thread in his career.

He believes that not only do designers need to be able to solve problems, but they must be able to clearly communicate their findings and the path forward. Tim enjoys learning about the challenges in delivering design solutions for cultures other than his own (fueled by time spent studying in France, New Zealand & Taiwan, and living in China & South Africa), and collaborating in multidisciplinary teams.

Follow Tim on Medium and LinkedIn.


"Biomimetic Barriers: A Coastal Protection Method to Address Sea Level Rise" by Tim Leeson.