Neri Oxman: Nature in Design Lecture Series

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Join us on Wednesday, October 8, as Neri Oxman delivers "Making Difference" as part of the Industrial Design Program's Nature in Design Lecture Series. Making Difference From the early writings of modern theoreticians theories of form have dominated the discourse of architectural modernism. Form rather than performance has been the central locus of practice and theoretical discussion. Performance has been significant in its influence upon form, but mostly served as agency, rather than acting as the origin of creation. As a result, formal knowledge and the theoretical dominance of spatial typologies have promoted a mono-functional approach to architectural design. Homogeneous distribution of structure and matter were made to serve pre-determined functions in their generic typological arrangements. Oxman's research questions the relevance of such canons in the digital age. Contrary to the modernist tradition which promoted divisions of function implicit in the architectural elements, design based upon performance and conditions of habitation postulates divisions of effect. Our ability to quantify a building's structural, environmental and indeed spatial performance assumes that differences of use and behavior must be accounted for, and permit for a range of effects to be classified or defined as comfort zones. A key characteristic of this process of change is the prioritization of difference and heterogeneity over repetition and standardization. Oxman's research aims at shifting the practice from design typologies dominated by pre-subscribed mono-functional programs to condition based programming. Making Difference is an attempt to introduce, define and speculate about the implications of such a shift at the intellectual and productive interface between science, technology and design. About Neri Oxman is an architect and researcher currently based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she is a Presidential Fellow working towards her PhD in Design and Computation; She is associated with the Smart Cities Group at the Media Lab and the Design Lab. Neri Oxman studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology (Hons), and the Hebrew University Medical School. She has practiced Architecture with Ram Karmi, OCEAN NORTH and had served as a Design-Technology Research Consultant for Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (NY & London). Recent exhibitions of Neri's work include the Venice Architectural Biennale [2002, 2004], and the Beijing Biennale [2004, 2006]. Her own work has been recently exhibited in the "Emerging Talent Emerging Technologies" Exhibition at the Beijing Biennial 2006, World Art Museum. Neri Oxman has taught design and computation workshops at the Emergent Technologies and Design Master's Program at the AA, the IT-Master's Programme at the Oslo School of Architecture, Rice and Columbia Universities. She has collaborated with Bentley Systems and the Smart Geometry Group and has given numerous workshops on Generative Components and other parametric software packages at various institutions including TU Delft, TU Vienna, Cambridge U.K, MIT, Columbia University, Harvard GSD, and KPF and Associates. Her work has been published in journals, magazines and books including AD (Emergence), AD (Techniques and Technologies in Morphogenetic Design), AD (Collective Intelligence in Design), Icon, AA Files, Building Design (BD Magazine), Demonstrating Digital Architecture (Birkh


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Teri Nagel
  • Created: 08/03/2010
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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