At the Crossroads of Art, Science, Technology, and Environmentalism
Welcome to the world of Neri Oxman, an award-winning designer who looks to nature for practical design solutions. In jaw-dropping discussions of her work, Oxman opens a vista onto a lush, wondrous, and sustainable future within reach—one where technology and nature live in harmony. Featured on the cover of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business issue (2009), Oxman transcends the boundaries between art, science and environmentalism.
Neri Oxman is the Sony Corporation Career Development Professor, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Research Group Director at the MIT Media Lab, where she directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her group explores how digital design, engineering, material science, artistic forms, and ecology can combine to radically transform the design and construction of everyday objects, buildings, and systems. Oxman's goal is to enhance the relationship between the built and the natural environment by employing design principles inspired by nature and implementing them in the invention of digital design technologies.
A graduate of the AA School of Architecture, and previously a medical scholar at the Hebrew University and the Technion Institute of Technology, Oxman has won numerous awards, including the inaugural Earth Award. The boundary-defying appeal of her work has garnered attention in magazines: She's one of Esquire's "Best and Brightest," was named to ICON's list of the top 20 most influential architects to shape our future (2009), and was selected as one of the 100 most creative people by Fast Company (2009). In 2008, she was named "Revolutionary Mind" by SEED Magazine.
She's also given lectures and workshops at Harvard, UC Berkeley, and the MoMA, where her work is part of the museum's permanent collection. In 2012 the Centre Georges Pompidou Museum (Paris) acquired her works for its permanent collection. Other exhibitions include the Smithsonian Institute (Washington), Museum of Science (Boston), FRAC Collection (Orleans, France), and the 2010 Beijing Biennale. She is included in prestigious private collections and has received numerous awards including a Vilcek Prize for Design (2014), a 40 Under 40 Building Design + Construction Award (2012), a Graham Foundation Carter Manny Award (2008), the International Earth Award for Future-Crucial Design (2009), and a METROPOLIS Next Generation Award (2009).
The New Eco-Activism
In the work of Neri Oxman, the disciplines of art, science, architecture, and ecology fuse to form a new kind of eco-activism—one based on the lessons of biomimicry (in which we look to nature for design solutions). With breathtaking examples from her work—a chair that moves with your body weight, energy efficient buildings that can grow and change—Oxman provides a glimpse into the future of performance-driven design and how it's literally reshaping our physical world. We must look past the surface of an object, Oxman says, and think instead about "how it behaves." Avant garde yet wholly accessible, Oxman makes a powerful and eloquent case for adapting sustainable, nature-derived concepts to tackle our most daunting challenges in design, business, society, the environment and our daily lives.
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