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Mission

OXMAN is rethinking design to empower a future of complete synergy between Nature and humanity.

Position

For the first time in our planet’s history, the anthropomass—the mass of human-made goods—now outweighs the biomass—the mass of all living things. In pursuit of our own technological advancement, humanity has rapidly unraveled what has taken Nature billions of years of evolution to create, resulting in a threat to the continued viability of life on Earth.

Humanity is a part of Nature, yet the world we have designed has created a rift between us. It is now our responsibility to heal it.

Policy

OXMAN proposes the creation of design solutions by, for, and with Nature while advancing humanity. This holistic approach demands that we design across scales and kingdoms for systems-level impact.

Categorical delineations between climate change and global pandemics, loss of biodiversity and loss of empathy for one another give way to authoring systems that address manifold challenges. In doing so, we open ourselves up to moving beyond mere maintenance toward the radical betterment of Nature.

025 Architecturalproposal
Nature × Humanity documentary
We call for a shift from human-centric design to Nature-centric design.

Nature-centric design

Nature-centric design views every design construct as a whole system, intrinsically connected to its environment through heterogeneous and complex interrelations that may be mediated through design. It embodies a shift from consuming Nature as a geological resource to nurturing her as a biological one.

Bringing together top-down form generation with bottom-up biological growth, designers are empowered to dream up new, dynamic design possibilities, where products and structures can grow, heal, and adapt.

Material Ecology vs. Sea Ranch Design Principles
Lawrence Halprin's 1982 Sea Ranch design principles as a backdrop to OXMAN's Material Ecology design principles
Krebs Cycle of Creativity III
The Krebs Cycles of Creativity replaces the carbon compounds of the biological Krebs Cycle with the four modalities of human creativity
What if human-made and Nature-grown were indistinguishable?

By placing a multiplicity in the form of an × between Nature and humanity, we call for a radical realignment between grown and built environments.

We transition from the current dichotomy of consumption on the one hand and preservation on the other to a relationship that embodies complete synergy, acknowledging that the interconnected whole is far more than the sum of its parts.

First principles

  • Nature as co-client

    We call for a shift in how we perceive clientele and commercial viability, turning Nature into a co-client within the design practice.

  • Nature-centric design

    Nature-centric design invites the creation of design solutions at the service of Nature while advancing humanity.

  • Activist design

    Activist design utilizes technology stakes in urging commissioning corporations to implement Nature-centric values across the design, construction, and manufacturing industries.

  • Growth over assembly

    Computational design through self-organization enables the generation of vast, diverse forms similar to those that emerge through the biological growth processes found in Nature.

  • System over object

    System-centric design considers any design construct—wearable, product, or building—a system of quantified interrelations across natural, biological, and digital domains.

  • Technology over typology

    Platform technologies position the scientific method and technological innovation as the kernel of the architectural practice, revisiting timeworn typologies.

  • Difference over repetition

    Perceived repetition in the natural world exists only through underlying difference and variation in response to environmental constraints, pointing toward design for behavior over form.

  • Integration over segregation

    Functionality is not embedded in design constructs via discrete material components but rather distributed inseparably across a single intelligent system which is greater than the sum of its parts.


  • Decay over disposal

    Programmed decay may be designed such that matter is consumed by the same ecosystem which sprouted it to fuel new growth, thereby empowering resource cycles rather than depleting them.

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