Material Ecology by Neri Oxman
From February 22 through May 25, 2020, visitors to the Museum of Modern Art will encounter a monographic exhibit featuring the work of Neri Oxman. The presentation, Material Ecology, will highlight eight significant projects that showcase the progression of the research and innovative designs Oxman has conducted throughout her 20-year career.
Before their first meeting, Bill Ackman recounts, two close friends of his both told him about Neri Oxman with words of glowing admiration. They described her as “gorgeous, brilliant, artistic, loving and talented”; and “incredible, warm, wonderful, energetic and intelligent.” The woman who became his wife in January this year is all those things, and so much more. She is an acclaimed designer and artist. Her work merges biology, computing, and materials engineering to build biologically-inspired art that connects architecture and nature.
American–Israeli Neri Oxman is an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and now leads the Mediated Matter research group.
Oxman believes that science, engineering, design, and art should be more actively connected – with the output of each discipline serving as input for another. With this philosophy as a driving force, she has gathered a team specializing in such diverse spheres as architecture, biology, and medicine.
Oxman’s intention is to develop the connection between built, natural, and biological environments by applying design principles inspired and engineered by nature. These connections are then implemented in the invention of innovative design technologies.
3D printing and fabrication techniques lay the foundations for many of Oxman’s projects. Her work often incorporates vividly colored composite materials and textured surfaces, with diversifying color, shape, and hardness over the structure.
Oxman has previously held exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and Boston’s Museum of Science, where some of her works are held in permanent collections.
In 2012, Shalom Life ranked her number 1 on its list of “most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish women in the world.” She has appeared on the covers of Fast Company, Wired UK, ICON, and Surface magazine. Her work is inspirational in changing how materials and structures are designed. Her art is described as “otherworldly — defined by neither time nor place.”
Take a closer look at Oxman’s life and work in an episode of Netflix docu-series Abstract: The Art of Design (season 2, episode 2).
Follow Neri on Instagram at @nerioxman.