Papers in Non-Refereed Journals

Templating Design for Biology and Biology for Design

2015  Oxman, N., Architectural Design, Special Issue: Material Synthesis: Fusing the Physical and the Computational, Volume 85, Issue 5, Pp. 100-107, September/October 2015


The complex relationship between biology and technology has for centuries constructed our view of Nature. It has also limited our ability as designers to integrate external environmental forces with the inherent material behavior of buildings and products. However, while the biological world expresses functionality from the bottom up - through self-organization, cell differentiation, growth, remodeling and regeneration - the practice of design traditionally operates from the top down, establishing constraints that inform or guide form generation and construction. Neri Oxman, Associate Professor and head of the Mediated Matter Group at the MIT Media Lab, introduces how new advances in additive manufacturing coupled with emerging capabilities in materials science and synthetic biology are today empowering designers to combine top-down design procedures with bottom-up digital or physical growth across spatial and temporal scales.

Mediated Matter