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Photo courtesy of Mike Siegel

This article first appeared in 2009 when I was writing for the MIT graduate student run news magazine The Graduate. However the website is no longer available and as far as I can tell The Graduate does not currently exist (perhaps it will be revived in another form someday as it has in the past). I really enjoyed working on these articles so I will be posting them on my blog over the next month. They mostly focus on groundbreaking work of graduate students at MIT.

At only 33 years of age, Neri Oxman’s list of accomplishments and accolades is exhaustive. The graduate student in the School of Architecture was most recently commissioned for an exhibit, Neri Oxman: At the frontier of ecological design, currently on display at the Museum of Science here in Boston, that highlights the unique biological influence in her design. She has been variously described as an architect, engineer, biologist, and computer scientist for her work that melds these myriad disciplines. She is intelligent and thoughtful, gracious and warm, and highly photogenic as a quick google image search of her name will prove.

Although an architecture student, Oxman’s work is a thing of art.  Taking inspiration from the natural world, she transforms nature, using computer algorithms, into impossibly complex, organic, three dimensional forms.  Her models are based on the fine structure of butterfly wings, bones, cells, informed perhaps by her earlier pursuits in the field of medicine. Read the rest of this entry »