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2016 Keynote: Day 2

Design at the intersection of science + engineering

From an organic-like, adaptable chaise lounge called “Gemini” to a biomorphic spacesuit, Neri Oxman’s award-winning designs are wildly provocative and inspiring.

We often talk about the leading edge, and this is it. Oxman is an architect, designer, and MIT professor whose pioneering work explores biologically-inspired fabrication technologies that enhance relationships between designed objects and the environment.

She coined the term “material ecology”to describe her approach, which spans the intersection of additive manufacturing, materials engineering, synthetic design, and computational design. It sounds complex, but to hear her describe it is beautiful and inspiring (her recent TED Talk has already scored more than 1.1M views).

At the MIT Media Lab, Oxman directs the Mediated Matter research group. Through projects such as the bio-crafted Silk Pavilion—where 6,500 silkworms wove a cocoon over digitally placed threads—the group radically rethinks everyday designs and systems and explores the relationship between nature and the built environment.

A winner of a numerous prestigious awards, Oxman’s work is part of the permanent collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and Centre Pompidou (Paris), and has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), among others.

She is 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), among numerous other awards.