Neri Oxman is an American-Israeli architect, designer and professor at the MIT Media Lab. She is in charge of the Mediated Matter research group, where they focus on combining design, biology, computing, materials engineering with architecture and art. Her work is primarily determined by its context, whether it be a helmet based on a CT scan of the brain (design fits the body not only by the shape but also by the physiological makeup of the body) or an acoustic chair that absorbs sound (design corresponds to the pressure points on the human body). Everything she does relates to something specific that gives it a sense of context. Most of her organically-shaped, beyond the norm designs are 3D printed.

One of my favourite works of hers would be the Mechanic Biomaterials Deposition using chitosan (2014). She took chitosan paste, developed solutions of different chemical concentrations and used that solution to 3D print, with a robotic arm, a structure in large scale. The microorganisms (a byproduct of the air bubbles from the printing process) and embedded bacteria take carbon from the atmosphere and convert it into sugar/energy. Not only can the product as as a structural beam, but also as a facade mesh (eg windows). The product also biodegrades to nourish marine life or nourish soil. What I like about this project is that the product is thought of as a cycle that is part of the natural environment. She takes what is natural to create one environmentally-harmless man-made object, which can then be returned back to the environment.

Below is a TEDtalk given by Neri Oxman.


Researcher from Mediated Matter researcher group holding the chitosan and water-based structural member
Close up of the chitosan-based structure

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