Architect and designer Neri Oxman is the Sony Corporation Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her team conducts research at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science and synthetic biology, and applies that knowledge to design across disciplines, media and scales—from the micro scale to the building scale. Oxman’s goal is to augment the relationship between built, natural, and biological environments by employing design principles inspired and engineered by Nature, and implementing them in the invention of novel design technologies. Areas of application include architectural design, product design, fashion design, as well as the design of new technologies for digital fabrication and construction.
Oxman coined the term, and pioneered the field of, Material Ecology, which considers computation, fabrication, and the material itself as inseparable dimensions of design. In this approach, products and buildings are biologically informed and digitally engineered by, with and for, Nature.
Oxman’s work is included in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Centre Georges Pompidou, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna (MAK), the FRAC Collection and the Boston Museum of Science, amongst others including prestigious private collections.
Since 2005, Oxman and her team have won numerous awards and has grown in international scope and acclaim at venues such as the World Economic Forum and the White House. Among Oxman’s awards are a Graham Foundation Carter Manny award (2008), the International Earth Awards for Future-Crucial Design (2008), the HOLCIM Next Generation award for Sustainable Construction (2008), a METROPOLIS Next Generation award (2009), a 40 Under 40 Building Design+Construction award (2012), the BSA Women in Design award (2014), the Vilcek Prize in Design (2014), an Emerging Voices award from the Architectural League of New York (2015), the Innovation by Design award from Fast Company (2015), and the San Jose Forum's Visionary Award (2017).
In 2008 Oxman was named "Revolutionary Mind" by SEED Magazine. In the following year she was named to ICON’s “top most influential designers and architects to shape our future” and to Esquire’s “Best and Brightest”. In the following year, Oxman was selected to FASCOMAPNY’s “most creative people” and the “10 most creative women in business”. In 2014, Oxman was named to Carnegie’s Pride of America. In 2015, she was named to ROADS' 100 Global Minds: the Most Daring Cross-Disciplinary Thinkers in the World, and in 2016 she was named a Cultural Leader at the World Economic Forum. Oxman appeared on the covers of FASTCOMPANY (2010), WIRED UK (2012), ICON (2013), SURFACE (2016), and more. She has been written about in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Fast Company, The Boston Globe and more.
Neri Oxman received her PhD in Design Computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT, where she coined the term Material Ecology to describe her research area. Prior to MIT she earned a diploma from the Architectural Association (RIBA 2 with Distinction) after attending the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology (Hons), and the Department of Medical Sciences at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.